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Crimson Blue: Innocence

Crimson Blue is a band out of Russia that's trying to find a wider audience. For better or worse, this album actually came out back in 2011, but was only sent to us a few weeks ago. I don't know if it's being released in America for the first time or what. The good news is that the album is available for a free download on Bandcamp and there is at least one video on Youtube for those interested in discovering what these guys offer.

The band describes itself as Nu Art Metal, a designation that honestly doesn't mean a great deal to me; as some readers already know, I often complain about the tendency to multiply labels for newer metal acts. This band is obviously trying to make a name for itself in a very tough market, but I doubt that any use of the term "Nu" will be helpful in this market. The 90s seem like a very long time ago and, frankly, lots of us are trying to forget them.

The music is mostly a blend of 90s Nu Metal with a little bit of symphonic metal thrown in. I'm not sure what Art Metal is, perhaps an attempt to think about heavy metal in more avant-garde terms. It doesn't work as well as it might have, mostly because the songs blend a strong low end with a kind of mellow, poppy sensibility. There are discordant guitar passages and some interesting rhythmic choices, but I don't think these guys are doing quite enough to demonstrate what they mean by Art Metal.

The vocals, performed by Dani Hellstrom, are pretty good. She's a soprano who also plays the keytar. The trouble, though, is that she doesn't really show off her strengths as often as she might. In most of the songs, she sings the lyrics in a straightforward, unembellished manner. At other times (see "Forest (Atonement) for example) she engages in a little more experimentation, but crosses the boundaries of key. Still, her voice is calm and pleasant and suits the music well. The rest of the band is competent and creative, but there isn't much here to set this band apart from others like them. For those curious to check these guys out, I'd suggest the opening track "Iceland," a mellow song that cites directly from T. S. Eliot's poem "The Hollow Men," a dark and frightening poem about despair and decay. The other tracks are pretty good, but aren't exciting enough for these guys to gain much wide-spread attention.

Track Listing:
1. Iceland
2. L.M.A.
3. Clouds
4. Flax
5. Ave Sensorium
6. Nagual
7. Forest (Atonement)
8. H.U. Lab Experiment I
9. September
10. Haesitaio
11. Innocence

Added: February 2nd 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 1750
Language: english

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