God loves a trier.
I say that because we’ve encountered Selene’s music several times now on MI, in it’s various guises, as multi instrumentalist John Connor has crafted demo after demo.
His dogged persistence is commendable, but as we’ve said before, he’s operating in a hard genre to crack – and it’s still not quite there.
It Has To Be…. Perfect
Lady-goth-operatic metal, like Within Temptation, Leaves Eyes and Epica, is a particularly hard thing to get right because it basically has to be perfect. It has to have a very high sheen indeed.
And what has always let John down isn’t so much the music as the vocals.
We know what it’s like to hear Sharon Den Adel or Liv Kristine belt out the melodrama, and it can be very powerful indeed.
Shonagh Lyons has certainly gotten better since the band’s last outing, but it’s still just not quite there. Her presence has improved, so has her vibrato and her projection.
Maybe its the mix of a little remaining timorousness with the still rather silly lyrics – I cant put my finger on exactly what – but something is still amiss.
I recognize several of the songs here, given their prior incarnations, and it’s clear they’re now far better than they were, with ‘Not Enough’ especially benefitting from a slightly faster and crisper delivery.
It all sounds like a proper band now too, rather than a studio effort. So credit there.
Those vocals though still just fall a little short of the mark, trying to sound operatic and just sounding overwrought – I’d prefer to hear Shauna just be herself instead of what the genre expects and demands.
Credit is certainly due, once again, to the artwork and general push that should, one day, see John end up as a recognised band in the genre he clearly wants to be part of, and I dont doubt it’ll come.
For now though, those vocals really, really, really need sorted. But I’m beginning to think they’ll do it, as all of this is a genuine step up.
3/5 – Earl Grey ::: 24/11/15