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Issa - 'Sign Of Angels'
Reviews » CD Reviews
Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 23, 2010    
“Issa” is a project by Serafino Perugino—the president of Italian Melodic Rock record label Frontiers Records—and brings Uli Kusch on drums, Nobby Noberg on bass, Peter Huss on guitar and Tim Larrson on synthesizers with contest-winning vocalist Isabel Oversveen, a glamorous looking singer that graces the front cover of this debut release. Whether browsing the photographs throughout the CD booklet, watching the music video or listening to the music, it is clear that Perugino’s primary objective with this project was to make a record Frontiers could market in the North American music market by cloning Avril Lavigne. If female-fronted rock with cynical lyrics is your forte, this will be your album. However, if you are looking for songs that are optimistic about love, you can buy the 7th track, “Unbelievable,” and stop right there.

After listening to this album several times in a row, I ended up enjoying at least half of the songs on the disc once I was able to mentally filter out Issa’s nasally vocals and the whiney lyrics. The raw feeling of the music with often mono guitar tracks and rough, heavily compressed drum tracks reminded me of early Mötley Crüe, including the gratuitous motorcycle sound effects on “Flying High.” I think my favorite thing about this album is Nobby’s deepy, throaty, heavy technique, with thick plucking and lots of string rubs. Great examples of that are on songs like “As I Live and Breathe,” “How Will I Know,” “River of Love” and “Falling Angel.”

Nevertheless, I had to give this album a lot of chances to appeal to me because it took a long time for me to appreciate some of the better aspects of the record. I was bored to tears by the opening track, “Angels Crying” and what could have been a sexy song in “I’m Alive” ended up being, really, anything but for a lot of reasons. I usually don’t care about lyrics at all but if the music is unimaginative and deliberately produced in such a way as to suggest the most important musician on the song is the vocalist, then I end up focusing on the least appealing aspect of the record.

Specifically, I thought the endless use of barre chords on the guitar tracks and the irritating synthesizer were a particularly unfortunate combination. Perhaps if the compositions weren’t so bland and generic on the majority of the material recorded for “Sign of Angels,” I could have given this a better rating. However, I have to say, this is the most disappointing release I’ve ever purchased with the Frontiers Records imprint.
Overall rating 
 
1.5
Production Quality 
 
2.0
Music Quality 
 
1.0
Artwork  
 
2.0
Value for Money 
 
1.0
Reviewed by STARFIRE December 23, 2011
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (4)

Targeting the American Modern Rock Radio sound, Sign of Angels misses its musical mark.

“Issa” is a project by Serafino Perugino—the president of Italian Melodic Rock record label Frontiers Records—and brings Uli Kusch on drums, Nobby Noberg on bass, Peter Huss on guitar and Tim Larrson on synthesizers with contest-winning vocalist Isabel Oversveen, a glamorous looking singer that graces the front cover of this debut release. Whether browsing the photographs throughout the CD booklet, watching the music video or listening to the music, it is clear that Perugino’s primary objective with this project was to make a record Frontiers could market in the North American music market by cloning Avril Lavigne. If female-fronted rock with cynical lyrics is your forte, this will be your album. However, if you are looking for songs that are optimistic about love, you can buy the 7th track, “Unbelievable,” and stop right there.

After listening to this album several times in a row, I ended up enjoying at least half of the songs on the disc once I was able to mentally filter out Issa’s nasally vocals and the whiney lyrics. The raw feeling of the music with often mono guitar tracks and rough, heavily compressed drum tracks reminded me of early Mötley Crüe, including the gratuitous motorcycle sound effects on “Flying High.” I think my favorite thing about this album is Nobby’s deepy, throaty, heavy technique, with thick plucking and lots of string rubs. Great examples of that are on songs like “As I Live and Breathe,” “How Will I Know,” “River of Love” and “Falling Angel.”

Nevertheless, I had to give this album a lot of chances to appeal to me because it took a long time for me to appreciate some of the better aspects of the record. I was bored to tears by the opening track, “Angels Crying” and what could have been a sexy song in “I’m Alive” ended up being, really, anything but for a lot of reasons. I usually don’t care about lyrics at all but if the music is unimaginative and deliberately produced in such a way as to suggest the most important musician on the song is the vocalist, then I end up focusing on the least appealing aspect of the record.

Specifically, I thought the endless use of barre chords on the guitar tracks and the irritating synthesizer were a particularly unfortunate combination. Perhaps if the compositions weren’t so bland and generic on the majority of the material recorded for “Sign of Angels,” I could have given this a better rating. However, I have to say, this is the most disappointing release I’ve ever purchased with the Frontiers Records imprint.

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