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Dotma
Sleep Paralyses
March 2011
Released: 2011, Scarlet Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

I never cease to be amazed by the massive influence that Nightwish single-handedly had on Metal. Even 15 years after the appearance of Nightwish, the Opera-goth sound of classic (or neo-classic as some prefer) symphonic Metal laced with strong soprano female vocals, is still going strong, as band after band enter the battlefield trying to carve out a niche in a crowded but strong sub-set. Dotma have entered the fray with their debut album SLEEP PARALYSES.



Dotma characterize many of the excellent features that fans have come to associate with this style. They are a quintet from Finland and they sit nicely on Scarlet Records who support this stuff like no other label. They have a commanding vocal presence in the form of Johanna Lesonen whose delivery reminds me of Sabine of Edenbridge and of course Tarja of Nightwish. Her work is on occasion juxtaposed by the somber timbre of Vladimir Lumi, creating a familiar ‘Phantom of The Opera’ type of vocal delivery. She sounds good and has a very sweet voice, even on the slower cuts like the beginning of ‘Indian Fall’. It’s a beautiful ballad. I wouldn’t be shocked if it was the second single.



Sonically everything is very clear; it’s loud, bright a good brisk production. Musically there is quite a wide range of instrumentation employed. There are many keyboards, lots of symphonic neo-classical flourishes, strings, flute, some acoustic guitar, operatic choirs and so forth. Fortunately the guitars and drums never get left behind, the guitars are ever-present, up-front crunchy and proud. There are lots of very decent solos that blend nicely into the surrounding song, meaning they are not overstated. Overall the band is very epic and the sounds soundtrack-like, which to my ears is welcome.



As mentioned in my introduction, I’m amazed but very pleased that bands have continued to be inspired to write, play and perform in this style because I really enjoy this specific sound. Your interest in Dotma will be determined by your tolerance and/or enjoyment of this sub-genre and the dozens of bands doing much the same style. Personally, I find SLEEP PARALYSES is another very fine addition to the ever-growing legion of bands of this ilk.
Track Listing

1. Legend of Blackbird
2. Reborn
3. Silent Sunshine
4. Indian Fall
5. Whispering
6. The Cave
7. Kingdom of the Sky
8. Memory Worth Dying For

Lineup

Johanna Lesonen - Vocals
Leo Saarnisalo - Guitar
Aapo Lindberg - Bass
Harri Koskela - Keyboard
Joonas Pykälä-aho - Drums

Other reviews

» Sleep Paralyses
by JP

» Sleep Paralyses
by Erich


Next review: » Dotma - Sleep Paralyses
Previous review: » Doro - Warrior Soul

Dotma
Sleep Paralyses
March 2011
Released: 2011, Scarlet Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Erich

Dotma were formed in Hyvinkää, Finland, a small town north of Helsinki in 2005. Fronted by Johanna Lesonen, the band are firmly in the camp of symphonic, female-fronted power metal. However, Johanna does share vocal duties on “Regard” with Vladimir Lumi, who utilizes a folk/goth style. This is a genre I enjoy, but admittedly it is becoming a bit saturated and it takes a Herculean effort to distance a band in this style from the scores of other bands without sounding generic. Dotma released two self-produced EPs in 2007 and 2009 before they spent about year writing and recording SLEEP PARALYSES which is their debut album. The album features several guest appearances, mostly from members of the bands Thaurorod and Embassy of Silence and was mixed in Sweden’s Cutting Room Studios.



With this style of music, there are basically two schools of vocals to utilize. One is the growled male vocals contrasted with operatic female vocals, or just straight female vocals. Dotma opt to let Johanna carry the vocals with a style that compares closely with Sabine Edelsbacher of Edenbridge, but Johanna has her own style, as evidenced on “Indian Fall” where she comes down from the upper registers to a successful croon. The album features 8 tracks of well-executed symphonic metal, admittedly with a leaning to the slower, more melodic side of the genre. There are not many heavy riffs, but the music is up to the task of providing the proper frame work and mood for the songs.



No question Dotma has potential, much of which has been realized on this debut. Inevitably, there is room for growth and the carving of a more unique persona, because at this point Dotma sound like any of a number of symphonic female-fronted metal bands. Thankfully, Dotma have done such a great job of execution, more of the same is not necessarily such a bad thing. Fans of Nightwish and Edenbridge will find much to like about Dotma.
Track Listing

01 Legend Of The Blackbird

02 Reborn

03 Silent Sunshine

04 Indian Fall

05 Whispering

06 The Cave

07 Kingdom Of The Sky

08 Memory Worth Dying For

Lineup

Johanna Lesonen- Vocals
Harri Koskela Keyboards
Lasse Nyman - Guitars
Aapo Lindberg - Bass
Joonas Pykälä-Aho- Drums

Other reviews

» Sleep Paralyses
by JP

» Sleep Paralyses
by Erich


Next review: » Down - Diary Of A Mad Band
Previous review: » Doro - Warrior Soul





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