"DROWNED IN QUESTIONS"
FROZEN ROSES (5:54)
Length: 62:23 (min:secs)
The relatively recent vogue for female fronted metal bands has drawn attention to some very enjoyable music from the likes of Nightwish, After Forever, The Gathering, Lacuna Coil and from a more commercial angle Evanescence. Apparition are venturing into this same genre armed with delicate twin female vocals combined with layers of vaporous keyboards and guitars in a serving of melodic metal, but they are attempting to join very talented company and as such will need to be top draw.
Musically the songs are often very pleasing with an atmospheric, epic feel and nice lead guitar detail, such as with “I Don’t Know”, “Lost Inside” and the gentle “Do You Care?”, although you do end the album thinking something was missing and not feeling completely satisfied. The fine guitars are unfortunately well down in the mix and vocals/keyboards take priority, despite some nice lead forays and chugging riffs. The emphasis is definitely on the melody, with power and heaviness coming a distant second and third.
With this style, the focus is placed on the vocals and consequently they have a greater pressure to perform. With Jen/Annabelle they are good but not great; lacking in power, often a little wobbly and with a range that’s too static. As this review is being written, it is understood that Jen has been replaced with a new vocalist Fiona Creaby, and going on Fiona’s previous work with Liquid Sky, this could be an advantageous move.
So the final reflections on the album are mixed. The songs do seem to feel too similar; nearly all beginning with keyboards that open for the vocals, before the guitars come into play, but more variation in song structure would help that. On the other hand, there are plenty of good elements to build on and there's the promise of a rejuvenation brought about by new members, but overall the band currently offer more in potential than they actually deliver in reality.
(7th September, 2006)