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Beware the Heavens
Released: 1999, Nuclear Blast Records
When I first heard about Sinergy several months ago, I was very intrigued but at the same time a little wary at the thought of a chick vocalist. Now before any of you militant feminists take offence to that statement, let me first say that I have no problems with chick singers, or chicks in general for that matter. (Being the politically incorrect bastard that I am, I couldn't resist saying "chicks". Chicks, chicks, chicks...) It's just that it's a rare thing in the metal world to hear a female singer and rarer still to hear a really good one. I'm happy to say that this is one of those rare occasions.
I easily overcame my reluctance to order this disc once I found out that In Flames' Jesper Stromblad and Children of Bodom's Alexi Laiho were contributing to the music. I figured even if the vocals weren't impressive, then the music was practically guaranteed to be. Needless to say, I was impressed on both counts. Kimberly Goss (who, by the way, was once Dimmu Borgir's keyboardist) sings with all the power and conviction of most of her male counterparts with a smooth and seductive mid-ranged voice which never wavers, even when reaching for the high notes.
Musically, the band also turns in an impressive performance. Most of the music was written by Laiho and Stromblad, so obviously there is a strong resemblance to both CoB and In Flames except for the title track (written by Laiho), which reminds me of ‘80's metal act Warlock. (Anyone else remember Doro Pesch?) "The Fourth World" could easily have appeared on any In Flames CD while "Venomous Vixens" sounds like a slightly less intense CoB tune. The rest of the songs are basically a meshing of these two bands with a few ‘80's influences also managing to creep to the surface. Goss (who penned all the lyrics) and drummer Ronny Milianowicz also contribute, with Milianowicz composing the exceptional classical/folk style instrumental "Born Unto Fire and Passion".
Bass duties were performed by Sharlee "Where do I find the time?" D'Angelo. Granted, this guy is a great bassist, but where does he find time in his schedule to play in FIVE bands??? (Mercyful Fate, Witchery, Illwill, Arch Enemy, and now Sinergy.) I guess it just goes to show that life isn't fair... Sharlee gets to play in five bands at once and I can't find enough people to have a decent jam session with. That does it... I'm moving to Europe. Canada, you SUCK!!! But I digress...
If you're a fan of both Children of Bodom and In Flames and aren't a completely chauvinistic pig, then I'm sure you'll really like Beware the Heavens. Definitely a worthy addition to any power metal collection. I think I'll go listen to it again while I wait for the hate-mail about my "derogatory" use of the word "chicks" to arrive. Hehehe...
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