Voices From Within

I don’t have anything against female vocalist in metal, it’s just that I prefer the more aggressive and suiting sounds of male vocalists. Sure, I like Arch Enemy and Light This City, but Angela Gossow and Laura Nichol are growlers, and suit their respective bands sound, not to mention my personal preference. I’ve just never been able to get into the pairing of the angelic like female voice with metal, unless it’s used in more of a backing role. With that said, Distorted’s Miri has a great set of pipes, but it’s just not my thing.

Candlelight describes the Israeli band as “mixing the brutal side of metal with the refinement of oriental music” – honestly, I don’t hear anything here that qualifies as “oriental” sounding – I’m not sure I even quite know what that would sound like anyway – but rather typical Gothenburg with melodic female vocals and a dash or two of thrash and doom.

Outside of the obvious vocal differences, what sets Distorted apart from the hordes of Gothenburg imitators is their high level of musicianship. Great instrumental skill and a knack for hooks abound on the bands second full length. In particular, the soloing is nothing short incredible and often very soulful (see the title track, “A Soft Whisper”, “Consistent Duality” and “Letting Go”). As with say, Lacuna Coil, Distorted also use the “beauty and the beast” approach by incorporating growling male vocals on most tracks to add versatility and contrast.

Most of the tracks here move at a fairly brisk pace, though “A Soft Whisper” is led by acoustic guitar until the chorus hits, “Escaping the Mind-Grid” is dominated by a slower but heavy pace with choppy, chugging riffs and beat, the short instrumental “Theom” and it’s absolutely beautiful clean guitar melodies, and “Letting Go”, a slower to mid-paced track that led by a sparse melody and tribal like drumming, and occasionally uses clean male vocals. Also, the closing track (which is not listed on the promo slip, but was picked up on my media player as “As You Lay”) opens with just Miri’s vocals, fully displaying her singing talents, then later is accompanied by an almost eerie sounding melody and a quite impressive acoustic solo.

Even though this isn’t quite my thing, there is a certain air of quality here that would suggest that those who like or at least don’t mind the melodic female vocals would be into or possibly even love this. For me, if the growling vocals had been dominant and the female vocals in the backing role, this would have been staring down my year end list.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
August 31st, 2008


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