Voices Of Destiny - 'Crisis Cult'

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Voices Of Destiny - 'Crisis Cult'

May take a few listens to bite, but the end result is worth the perseverance.

If you dig deep enough, it's amazing just how many Female-Fronted Metal bands are out there, particularly in the Symphonic arena. When you consider the dearth of female Rock and Metal musicians and vocalists even some twenty or so years ago, let alone thirty years ago, it's akin to a baby boom phenomenon.

Voices Of Destiny from Tamm, near Ludwigsburg, Germany, have been around for some ten years now and 'Crisis Cult' is their third full-length release. Their debut 'From The Ashes' in 2010 was critically acclaimed but the follow-up 'Power Dive' in 2012 proved a disappointment, many considering it a lightweight follow-up. Whether or not that hastened the departure of original drummer Erik Seitz just before their Eastern European tour with Epica and Xandria, only the band can say. But after going into the studio to prepare recording this new album, the band decided to continue without clear Soprano vocalist Maike Holzmann, who had sung on the first two albums, for unknown reasons.

With new drummer Klaus Ackermann and a new find in Ada Flechtner on vocals, VOD have once again fired up their sound in a heavier direction. Founding member's guitarist Chris Gutjahr and bassist Jens Hartwig, with original keyboardist and male vocalist Lukas Palme, have found inspiration in Ackermann and have modified the song-writing to suit.

Setting the scene with an atmospheric intro 'Wolfman' blasts out of the speakers with heavy driving riffs and progressive rhythms; the entwined vocals of Flechtner dueting with Palme's growls over the heavy dynamics and the mellifluous melancholic Gothic undercurrent. 'The Easy Prey', again with heavy riffs and male growls, also has a Gothic thematic attached to its Rock dynamic, whilst 'To The Slaughter' is almost made to measure in its simplicity of following what's gone before. The swaying, rhythmic, dynamic riffs allied to the sweet, Gothic, backing music with Flechtner and Palme overriding the aural flavour with their inter-twining syntax.

It takes '21 Heroes' to spice up the assiduous musical assault by creating a melodic ambiance and mood with cool synths that permeate this semi-ballad. Hartwig's steady bass lines are a counterpoint to the juxtaposition of Flechtner and Palme's smooth and harsh vocals.

'At The Edge' is very interesting for the fact it features ex-Xandria vocalist Manuela Kraller dueting with Flechtner, whom Voices Of Destiny had toured with several years ago and no doubt became friends. Following a lilting piano intro with Flechtner's smooth exquisite delivery, synths envelop the female leads and the orchestration of guitar bass and drums create a perfect setting.

This one may take a few listens to bite, but the end result is worth the perseverance.

Carl Buxton

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