Farvahar Records is proud to announce a double release for November 11th. Ohio's Pagan Power Lords - Lunarium will re-release their debut CD as a self-titled effort, with slightly different packaging. They have substituted 'Elizabeth's Song' for the newly recorded 'Lord Of Winter'. This album is newly remixed by bassist Jarloc Darkstar, and remastered by Thord Klarstrom from Sweden's Gallow's End; who have also just signed to the label. This date also sees the release of their second signing - Evarest, also mastered by Thord.
In the wake of separation brought about by countless Nightwish
clones, and with decent female fronted acts like Magica, Within Temptation,
After Forever, Epica, and Edenbridge becoming increasingly more commercialized;
the once rare female Power Metal milieu, has now become inundated, tedious,
and staid. Thankfully, there are still some female acts still worthy
Evarest do have a leading lady of light in Eva Markvartova, but they are far from being classified as Operatic Metal. If one celebrates this, I suggest the new Operatika - The Calling, with a vocalist who emulates Tarja, and a guitarist who thinks he is Yngwie or Axel Rudi Pell.
Czech Republic's Evarest are essentially a Power Metal act, led by an average female singer. This is not necessarily a detriment. Think about Italy's White Skull who released two spectacular albums during the millennium with Sister Federica De Boni on vocals. She could not sing, but her gruff style fit the music. After her departure, they reverted to a male singer; but now they have another dame of doom, dressed to skill, delineating the Ring Of The Ancients, in Elisa "Over" De Palma.
Eva rests on the notion of fear and victory; searching for lost timeless hope. With her fevered passion, she sings with a pellucid dreamlike quietus. She does not have too much range, or pitch, but she does articulate and prattle her piquant phrases quite well.
The music more than compensates for this drawback. Guitarists Pepa Fiser and Tom Matula match note for note with an exemplified array of character and significance. Each member contributes his heart and soul of inspiration. Zdeno has joined the band, but Vla'da Soli'n performed the drums in the studio. The keyboards are at times too much, but envelop the universal contrast.
I'm less than thrilled with all these tired and red power puffs curls, who think their image transcends their songwriting capability. I'm also growing weary of chicks in metal growling or grunting. I'm not the least bit annoyed by Eva's tone. She exudes an honest and affectionate approach, with a subtle candour, and a delivered cadence.
On songs like 'Lost Race' and 'Requiescat', Olaf joins in on the singing; avoiding the "Beauty And The Beast" B$, which has also become a bit out of hand. These songs and others like 'Fear' and 'Searching For Lost Times' carry that sharpened edge personified by Turkey's Almôra. Olaf at times sounds like Burak Canözer, while Eva resounds the wonderful arabesque presence of NihanTahtaipleyen.
'Hero's Fate' adapted from their demo is the best song, with excellent musicianship, and very infectious melodies. 'River Of Death' has an enduring epic quality.
Unfortunately, not all songs are superfast. 'Go Away!' is too commercial, but not in an accessible manner; more of a simplistic excuse for a hit single. 'For Goddamned Love' is a typical ballad, and soon to be a forgotten love song. Every time I hear this, I'd swear she was saying, "Forgotten Love", which makes more sense than GD eros. The instrumental 'Victory' is superfluous. Perhaps on their next album, they can eliminate the keys, and have Eva share the microphone more with Olaf, just like what Almôra exude.
In keeping with the Farvahar's moribund dance, the CD is replete with an argosy of songs representing all avenues of Power Metal. The packaging is well done, with a full colour booklet, lyrics, and liner-notes. 'Pohroma' the Czech version of 'Requiescat', is better than the English version, heavier, packing more of a punch.
Evarest are not too original, but given their origin, they are unique. The closest I've heard of any band from Czech Republic playing fast, upbeat Power Metal, was Cruel Barbarian on the Blind Guardian Tales From The Underworld Tribute, where they combined covers of 'Tales From The Twilight World' with 'Vahalla'. Other than that, one would expect mostly death acts like Master's Hammer (whom Behemoth recently covered) to escape from the thrashing Eastern Block.
I salute Farvahar for having the brass and balls to sign
a band, relatively unknown to the world. I envision great success for
Evarest, and their partners in mettle.