Various Artists - 'Melody And Malice'

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Various Artists - 'Melody And Malice'

Charity release from Femme Metal Records.

All profits from this years charity release from Femme Metal Records is supporting the NSPCC, and as with the similar ‘Beauty And Brutality’ from 2010 is a double CD package featuring a plethora of bands with female (or male plus female) singers and mainly rooted in metal (rather than rock) sub genres.

Amongst the better known bands with high profile tracks included here are Crystal Viper, Sarah Jezebel Deva, Magica, Edenbridge, Amberian Dawn, Triosphere, Lacuna Coil and Arch Enemy, although the offering from this last named quintet (‘I Will Live Again’) whilst instrumentally quite splendid contains the ugly death metal growls of front-woman Angela Gossow that will undoubtedly be a turnoff to the most of the readers of this magazine, as will the entries from Deadlock, Regardless Of Me, Kittie, Decadence, The Agonist (oh deary me!!), Luna Mortis and Rising Dreams. But then set against these there are the very pleasant surprises from a number of bands. Polish quartet UnSun whose Aya Stefanowicz has a sweet and dream-like quality to her voice provide the dynamic song ‘Whispers’ while Finnish quintet Katra - named for their lead singer Katra Solopuro – present the splendid ‘One Wish Away’ with fantastic harmonies and a certain sensuality.

British band Winter Storm is new to me and their entrancing track ‘The Embrace’ showcases the semi-operatic vocal talents of Hannah Fieldhouse. In This Moment, with vocals from Maria Brink (who has been voted the “Hottest Chick In Metal”) is a quintet from Los Angeles and their track ‘A Star-Crossed Wasteland’ is a brooding, dark monster. This is a band of whom I wish to hear much more! Finally, I would like to mention another British band, London-based The Mariana Hollow, fronted by Rebecca Spinks, whose song ‘Your Halo’ really grabbed my attention. It is a moody number with a prog metal vibe and very distinctive vocals. They are an unsigned band – but I would suggest not for much longer! I am certain that those of you who are particular fans of femme metal will wish to investigate the albums of these particular bands (and possibly umpteen of the others included on this compilation) further.

While ‘Melody And Malice’ is a compilation that will repay assiduous use of the skip button there remains plenty to enjoy here and as previously in this series of charity releases by the label there really is something for everybody. Furthermore you can help a very good cause while adding to your music collection at the same time.

Paul Jerome Smith

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