Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gold: Interbellum (2012)


It’s been a while since I’ve talked about retro and/or female-fronted metal, so I think I’m due. Gold is a new Dutch band featuring Thomas Sciarone, formerly of The Devil’s Blood. If TBD is your starting point for comparison, this band drops all the folk influence and faux-serious Satanism to go for a more tried-and-true classic sound. Christian Mistress and Royal Thunder are better touchstones.

The band’s debut, Interbellum, consistently hovers in that nether region between hard rock and heavy metal. The songwriting is upbeat, and if you ever complained that metal doesn’t have enough “actual songs” anymore, the hooks on this one (both vocal and instrumental) are sure to satisfy. Vocalist Milena Eva sounds a little like Blondie belting it out in Pat Benatar fashion. She isn’t an excellent singer in a music student sense, but the feeling she puts behind it is much more important anyway.

The production is well-done, not consciously retro nor too modern. The instruments are all fully audible, and no sound or tone seems out of place.

Any more detail would have to go in a specific track-by-track analysis, trying to decide which songs sound more like Budgie, Angel Witch, Heart, or whatever, but that would do it a disservice. Gold sound like Gold, a band that could have been contemporary with any of them but doesn’t mimic them too closely. Not one song is a throwaway, and four of them are really damn good. Give it a shot.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

(This isn't even one of the best songs on here.)

Buy Interbellum (import on Amazon)

Ván Records

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