The debut album Vitriol from the Italian band Evenoire is an interesting beast. They are firmly rooted in the goth and symphonic sub-genres of metal along with some tentative outgrowth into folk territory. Yet, for the goth and symphonic elements being so dominating, I feel that it is of their most uninspired moments. Vitriol is divided fairly evenly between the different styles; the first half is more goth-symphonic inspired – minus one song – while the latter half of the album has more of a folk-symphonic take that is a bit more interesting.
Starting with the introduction title track, you immediately get a sense that this is supposed to be an epic, albeit typical, fantasy musical romp. You have your build up of strings and choir to lead into the next song (“Days of the Blackbird”) with crunchy, overpowering guitars, leaving the sampled orchestra to the background. Even singer Elisa “Lisy” Stefanoni gets pushed aside to make way for the guitars. This pattern continues on with “Forever Gone” and “Girl by the Lake”. And those last two songs meander for two minutes longer than they should have.
Going back to the Stefanoni’s singing: it seems that when a metal band has a woman singer, they like to showcase her talents, and yet, it seems that they just keep her in the back for the first part of the album. It doesn’t help that Gabby Koss (Haggard, Nota Profana) makes a guest appearance on “Misleading Paradise” showing that she might be a better fit for the band with her soprano voice. However, she does sound similar to Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil. Stefanoni is certainly not a terrible singer, it just seems that she doesn’t get warmed up until well within the middle of the album when the folk-symphonic songs hit their joyful jaunt.
Sure, the first instance of a folk-symphonic song is “Misleading Paradise”, although Koss leads that one off. It’s not until “Minstrel of Dolomites” (Dolemite, baby!) that Stefanoni hits her mark. Her folkish vocal melodies are really upbeat and complement the music well. I get an early Eluveitie vibe from this song with their mixture of flute melodies and driving guitars.
What initially turned me off to this album was the placement of the songs. If I could take the last three songs and put them in the front while pushing the ones originally in that place into the back, I think this album would be a lot stronger. If you’re a goth-symphonic metal fan and you’ve already exhausted your supply of Anathema, Tristania, Sirenia and the like, you might get a bit of enjoyment out of Vitriol. It’ll be interesting to see if Evenoire try to incorporate more folk or goth-symphonic elements for subsequent albums.
[Visit the band's website]