Wednesday, January 29, 2014

AGHARTI: "Change"

Rating: RRR
Label: Wormhole Death 2014
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

The latest in a long line of female fronted metal acts since the start of the second wave of Goth and the likes of Nightwish. It's the rather typical line-up and vocal performances which obviously include soaring female vocals and the aggressive male backup growler. Agharti was formed in Croatia in the spring of 2009 and their musical influences including grunge, rock and all kinds of metal really. They've played as a support act for Epica and their first full album is released by Wormhole Death records in Italy.

"Change" contains keyboard oriented music from as far left field as Goth and Symphonic Metal (not far at all in other words), peace loving mantras from the likes of Gandhi, Mandela and Dala Lama, classical overtures, and no doubt millions of other things that will go unnoticed for now. It's the melodic alternative style that's sort of dynamic and balanced between personal experiences and social observations. If all this sounds too weird, try not to worry too much as it's certainly listenable and lead vocalist Tina Bukic is the strong and not quite as operatic singer as usual with bags of energy, charisma and attitude.

Favorite headbanging tracks (Mendacity, Rise Again, Words Unspoken, To A Friend, Awaken) are uplifting numbers with layers of symphonic keyboards by Ivana Mrduljas (also back-up vocals) and catchy choruses. They are sort of hidden away at #8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and the album could do with the 'Change' of track listing in my humble opinion. The only "problem" with Agharti, they'll remind you of all the acts in the same category: Within Temptation, Epica, Nightwish, etc. Obviously not a problem if you fancy another slice of the pie. Solid effort.

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