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Sadhara - To Hell, With Sympathy

Published May 19 2007

=Staff's pick

To Hell, With Sympathy
My Kingdom Pain*
Architect Of Reprise
Twilight Ushers The Maddened
The Ill Tempered Stratocaster*
Beauty Etched Into Sunset
Immortalized In Ash
From Saint To Cinders*

Genre Death Metal
Katherine Burke
Tracks 9
Katherine Burke
Runningtime 39 Min.
Katherine Burke
Release 2006
Iwan Hendrikx
Country USA
Similar artists Death, Cradle Of Filth, Kreator, early Iced Earth

Sadhara is an independent project that is basically all about Katherine Burke, who is behind most of this demo apart for some help with the drums from the dutch guy Iwan Hendrikx. This is the second demo from Sadhara, the first 5-track demo came out in 2003. The name that Katherine produces her metal behind, Sadhara, is Sanskrit for "Inner Spiritual Worship" and is pronounced sa-DAR-ah. At the Sadhara website the music is described as being "a mix of European, Swedish and melodic death/black metal with female banshee screams and gothic clean singing". And if you ask me that is head on target but I will try to describe this and the songs a little bit more if you hang around.

The demo starts with the title track and a melodic hook from the guitar that lies over the pounding drums with a death metal beat. It grips my attention immediately and I already here find myself being totally in love with this band. Musically I find some resemblances in this song, as well as in most of the songs, with the legendary death metal band Death. Although, the vocals are clearly sung with a gothic touch while the song goes on with furious drumming, and To Hell, With Sympathy strikes me as extreme in one sense, while at the same time being balanced and melodic in another way. Apart from Death I would say that the influences overall feel more european, and with the extreme aggression in the ending From Saints To Cinder it is not to hard to see some resemblances with Kreator.

Most of the vocals are growls and this is where Katherine really comes out at her best, even if they isn't perfected in anyway I simply love them Dani Filth screams. It is unperfected and raw and yet so damn irresistible and perfectly suited for the aggressive music. Some work could be needed with the clean vocals, however. It sounds good enough but it is as if she lacks some confidence when singing with a clean voice, and it is not nearly as convincing as with the growls. Songs like Twilight Ushers The Maddened, Immortalized In Ash and Bliss share that they have the same basic structures with the sound as what you can hear from the early days of Iced Earth and their pounding dark heavy metal that has a great momentum. Moreover, if the foundation has things in common with Iced Earth, the topping if you like, has more in common with Cradle Of Filth with elaborated grand melodies and atmospheres complete with the extreme and fast metal. Bliss makes the perfect example of this, and especially when she blends angelic vocals with tormented screams from hell.

Sadhara deliver death metal that lightly crosses over to black and many of the influences apart from the mentioned seems to my ear to be coming from the northern parts of Europe. Architect Of Reprise echoes of the early day of the Gothenburg sound as it is extreme and brutal, yet it is kept melodic, not least with the solo parts. In the speedy track, My Kingdom Pain, we have yet again a melodic hook from the guitar in a way that makes it feel almost Finnish, and it has a lot of guitar in it. Her skills as a guitarist is not to be taken lightly, The Ill Tempered Stratocaster is an instrumental track where she shows her skills with speedy and technical playing as well she knows how to throw out edgy and raw riffs and to deliver leads as soulful and melodic as Iron Maiden. I feel that I have to mention Iwan Hendrikx on the drums as well as he truly deserves it. This guy kicks ass harder than a mule. The speed and determined drumming from him really helps to lift the music and he can really deliver rhythms and patterns that are insane.

Finally, I can see no reason why Katherine Burke and Sadhara should not be ready to be signed to a label. This is competent made death metal with variety and she shows great skills in the songwriting- as well as performance area and they both hold very high standards.








9 chalices of 10 - Thomas

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