5Rand
Dark Mother

Occasionally I get sent some pretty obscure, late stuff in the mail, and one such release is the second effort from Italy’s female fronted act 5Rand (grand? five rand?), released earlier this Autumn. It’s clearly marketed to ride Jinjer’s current wave of popularity, but actually stands on its own as a pretty solid release, largely on the strength of front woman Julia Elenoir.

My immediate comparison was bands like The Agonist, Arch Enemy, and early In This Moment, as the band plays a form of beefy ‘modern metal’ that culls from thrash, melodic death metal and metalcore . Elenoir is every bit as talented as Gossow and Alissa White-Gluz, with ample feral growls and some very nice clean vocals, not goth metal or soprano, but a very powerful emotional clean croon.

The band can deliver plenty of tempos and verse/chorus numbers like the single above ,”Several Injuries” or full on blasts like the start of “The Awakening” and everything in between; an angsty interlude (“Feel the End”), bruising groove metal (“Old Angel Midnight”), burly thrasher (“Blind Addiction”, “Before the Flood”),  more often than not containing big catchy choruses to highlight Elenoir’s talent. The album ends with “Silent Spring”, which features Francesco Ferrini of Fleshgod Apocalypse, who adds to his busy year of guest appearances (Ov Lustra, Shadow of Intent), and makes the closer a very epic, somber, album ending ballad.

I can’t say I’m going to come back to this album over and over, but certainly I’m not adverse to any of the songs when they play on shuffle, and certainly an under the radar female fronted band that may not have a big name or presence, but is almost as talented as some of their bigger peers.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
December 17th, 2019

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