Light Among Shadows - 'Welcome... Back!'

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Light Among Shadows - 'Welcome... Back!'

A marvellous effort for an independent and no doubt self-financed effort.

A curious one, this. The band is marketed as a Symphonic Metal band with some little brushes of Gothic and Power Metal. However, they are far more Gothic and inherently mainstream than the publicity would have you believe. For example, if Spanish guitarist Adrien Fowl didn't grow up on a diet of Iron Maiden then I'm the new Catholic Pope!

There's an unmistakable Maiden style refrain underpinning 'Through The Maze Of Thorns' and the continued riff refrain on 'When You Close Your Eyes' that also includes a gorgeous tonal quality on the solo, plus a modern day Maiden intro to 'Children Of The Underworld'. That's not to say it's a bad thing. In actuality, Fowl is a very good guitarist and undoubtedly the star of this band as he plays a great solo on 'A Of Wonder And Horror' mixed with strong riffs on the likes of 'The World Behind The Mask' and 'Back To Where You've Never Been'. There's a very solid rhythm section from Messrs Chris Red (bass) and Alejandro Tineo (drums) throughout whilst keyboards are handled by Antonio Lopez. Unfortunately, the weak link is German vocalist Tatjana Klee. With a stylish look and obvious selling point bedecked in gorgeous corsetry and flowing gossamer, and with sumptuous artwork, imaginative imagery, striking logo and lyrics inspired by fairy tales and horror stories, you so want this to work.

Tatjana's vocal sound is not too dissimilar to Leaves Eyes' Liv Kristine whilst having a similar melancholic vocal style and phrasing to Kirsten Jorgensen of Norwegians Evig Nagg (Eternal Night); but her casual nasally vocals allied to a mostly uninspiring mid paced run through semi Gothic Rockers are nowhere near challenging the crème de la crème of female fronted Rock and Metal bands. It's worth noting that two tracks on this album are actually words lifted from works by two late American fantasy/horror/science fiction writers spoken by Tatjana: Ray Bradbury's 'Homecoming' and H.P. Lovecraft's 'Mirage', sonnet 23 of 36 from his Fungi from Yuggoth cosmic poetry collection. 'Wastelands' from their 'At The Gates Of Dawn' EP released two years ago is a decent song and shows that Adrien can make clever use of chord structure with shade and light as it has some good ideas, but sadly nothing jumps out at you on this album.

As good a guitarist as Adrien is and as sound technically as the rhythm section are, Tatjana will have to up her game if they want to make a major breakthrough. It's a marvellous effort for an independent and no doubt self-financed effort, and great plaudits should be sent their way but it's just a little 'ho-hum' for me sadly.

Carl Buxton

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