Mena Brinno
Icy Muse

Hailing from Tampa, Florida, Mena Brinno (which translates as “Moon Fever”), is a female fronted Gothic metal band featuring former Royal Anguish players Katy Decker and Marius Kozlowski. And while delivering many of the usual Gothic metal elements, Mena Brinno has more in common with the likes of To-Mera and Alas in that it tries to mix more off the wall, complex angular metal backbone with operatic female vocals, but ultimately fails and comes across as a bit awkward.

The first issue is Decker, who has served with various Opera companies, and it’s not with her voice, as it’s a supremely operatic once, it’s just that it’s a bit too shrill for the style of metal it’s overlaying. Then, the more complex, jarring nature of most of the material, just ends up colliding with Decker’s voice, rather and creating a symbiotic musical relationship-a key element on female fronted metal. Opener “Run For Me” pretty much sets this sound up from the get go, which is a shame as it’s a poor choice to start the album.

However, after the awkward opening track, Mena Brinno delve into a more laid back, almost Celtic and acoustic influenced sound such as “The Lone Green Valley”, “Love is a Terrible Thing” or “Precipice” which have some flute flourishes amid the guitars and singing or more traditional Gothic metal somberness as heard on the title track, “Pleading” or “This Meeting”. Still, though the musical interplay between Kozlowski’s guitars and Decker’s voice is never really that comfortable, as the chorus of “The Lone Green Valley” “Theodora” and closer “Nightbird” show.

Decker seems talented but miscast in Mena Brinno (I have not heard Royal Anguish), as it seem that opera is her real calling, not forcing her considerable pipes into metal. But even with a more fitting crooner, I’m not sure Mena Brinno would not be anything to write home about.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
February 27th, 2008

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