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Graveshadow - 'Nocturnal Resurrection' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/94/ce/52/graveshadow-nocturnal-resurrection-23-1458247728.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 17, 2016    
 
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They certainly have the talent.

Female-Fronted Symphonic acts are hardly an endangered species these days, however finding one from the US where the lady in question, Heather Michele, is also a growler...well that's less expected. The same comment can't be expressed for the music on this debut from Sacramento's Graveshadow; it is a firm diet of Nightwish (mainly latter day, but with a sprinkling of the early years), Delain, Within Temptation and Leaves' Eyes that is administered and adhered to. Hence 'Nocturnal Resurrection' would fit neatly into that well-worn mold, if not for the vocals.

In clean mode Michele is a talented lass with a serious surge of power and crystal clear delivery that avoids the Operatic end of the spectrum. On the flip side, her throat-bashing bursts are convincing and add a certain dark hue to an otherwise bright, if toughened up outlook. But with that said, a little more variance in her delivery still wouldn't go amiss, the clean-growl-clean-growl-clean ethos evident a little too often; 'Lycan Lust' proving that when a darting vocal melody is utilised, this young lady really comes into her own. The song itself is a highlight, the razor sharp riffs and high in the mix (as they are throughout) keyboards bursting with bombast and controlled ferocity.

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Add in 'Blink', where Ralf Scheepers of Primal Fear guests superbly, and you have proof that when Graveshadow hit their stride, they prove a match for anyone. For Doctor Who fans, this track will prove intriguing; the lyrics are based around the show's Weeping Angels (one of the best baddies of the reboot), with even the good Doctor himself also getting a mention, as does the show's title music melody which is neatly and unexpectedly referenced.

It would be a stretch to suggest that Graveshadow are offering anything radical on 'Nocturnal Resurrection'. However, in a genre fit to bursting with new acts and albums (just check out the amount of Symphonic/Female-Fronted releases reviewed this issue for proof) having a unique selling point is pretty much essential. In Michele's varied and convincing vocals, Graveshadow may have exactly that.

Let's hope they are given enough time to evolve into a band with an equally individual musical attack. They certainly have the talent.

Steven Reid

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