Album review

This female fronted hard rock act from Russia has produced quite a strong disc. It’s a bit uneven, though. When they hit the mark, they are among the best. When they miss it, there is still some merit to the songs. Additionally, they hit it more often than they miss it.

The opening track (“Anthem to the Sun”) wastes no time establishing the hard rocking fury about to unfold. Metallic guitar screams it into being. As the vocals come across it takes on more of a hard rocking (but not quite metal) vibe. The song is a potent hard rock groove. It’s modern, but also familiar. They include a short mellower interlude mid-track for some variety, too.

“Freeway” starts with a keyboard section that makes one believe it’s the latest club/dance tune. As it builds it gets a bit more rock in the mix. The vocals come across a mellower, keyboard based section, though. This gets some crunch guitar as it continues. The piece alternates between mellower and more rocking. It’s good, but not the powerhouse that the opener was. The blend of sounds is a bit less inviting. There is some annoying vocal processing on the cut, too.

As “No One Remembers” they bring the funk. That funk sound, though, is paired with a metallic crunch and only lasts through the introduction. The tune is definitely a step back in the right direction. It’s a metallic screamer with a killer groove. It calls to mind Warlock in some ways. It is old-school metal, but there are modern edges to it.

Bass leads things off on “Magic of the Night.” It moves to a mellow, balladic kind of arrangement. There is a jazzy element to it, but it also feels a bit like something the Scorpions might do. The expressive guitar work on the piece is one selling factor. The vocals, as always, are magic. Some downright disco-like sound comes into play in some later sections. Yet some real crunch is heard later, too. It is one of the most dynamic and diverse arrangements. It’s also a very compelling song.

“Brave New Day” starts with some keyboards bringing an electronic vibe. As the introduction continues, crunchy guitar brings the rock. That drops away as they take it into the verse, though. The vocals really shine over the stripped back arrangement in that section. They bring the crunch for the choruses that rock. It’s a great contrast between the two sounds and the whole piece works really well. The guitar solo on the piece is particularly meaty.

Imagine Shout at the Devil era Motley Crue with a female lead singer. It would probably sound a lot like “Heaven & Hell” does. The tune is a metallic one with a good contrast between mellower and more rocking sections. There’s an extended guitar solo break that doesn’t work as well as the rest of the song does, though.

The first verse of “Believe” is just keyboards and vocals. It actually feels just a little like Tori Amos. As more rock elements are gradually introduced, that comparison becomes less apparent. The song has a bit too much of a processed modern pop music vibe. Still, the vocals bring some magic and the crunchy guitar later adds to the mix, too.

“The Power of Rock” does, in fact, rock. It’s a very metallic stomper and one of the more effective pieces of the disc. The soaring vocals are among the best of the set, too. Given the competition, that says a lot. The piece has some of the most blatantly metallic instrumental sections to this point, too.

The closing piece is “Queendom,” and it’s pure heavy metal. The production seems a little flat, but the song is high energy and works well. It just doesn’t feel as polished as the other music here, either in terms of songwriting or sound. Still, there is a charm to that raw nature.

While there is quite a bit of diversity here, for the most part it feels cohesive. This band is quite talented. Their lead singer is exceptionally so. Their blend of hard rocking sounds is both fresh and familiar. Overall, this is quite an impressive disc.

G. W. Hill