Polaris – Polaris

Reviewed: February 2005
Released: 2004, Independent
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: AL

Another up and comer hailing from Massachusetts, Polaris’ self-titled demo provides a very Euro-centric style of metal, a refreshing change from the usual glut of metal core we’re used to being exposed to in these parts. With a powerful, progressive sound, the four songs contained here all twist and turn at a moments notice. The dynamic rhythm section of Lee Dias and Rob Massoud provide the perfect backdrop for guitarist TJ Bellerive’s fretboard acrobatics. Song structures ride the line between Inside Out-styled Progressive Rock, Jazz/Fusion, and Power Metal, though primarily residing with more of the tech end of the spectrum.

What really holds the band together melody-wise is the incredible range, power, and presence of vocalist/front woman Olivia Berka. Besides being extraordinarily beautiful, she is also extraordinarily talented. Wait, make that TALENTED. I cant’ even wrap my head around how pipes this good can be hidden in a girl so tiny. Berka’s voice echoes that of a Heavy Metal Christina Aguilera, combined with the grit of a Leather Leone (Chastain) or Doro Pesch. If you doubt me, check out the ending scream in “Raven and Rowantree”, and try and tell me whether “East Meets West”!! (a lil’ Warlock joke there for ya’ll)

For a band of this ilk to reside in the States is certainly a shock for me, but a welcome one for sure. I’m positive that fans of the more technical, complex side of prog/power will eat this up, but I also think that fans of female-fronted metal (like myself) should stand up and take notice simply for the sheer vocal power and talent of Berka.

Polaris is a band that is destined to make a name for itself, so get on board now while you can! Contact: , 508-273-0236


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Track Listing:
1. Ghost War
2. Raven and Rowantree
3. Tired and Broken
4. Move North

TJ Bellerive-guitar
Olivia Berka-vocals
Lee Dias-drums
Rob Massoud-bass