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Edge of Attack: Edge of Attack

It seems like the number of female-fronted metal bands grows by the week. It's unfortunate that lots of listeners (at least according to blog comments I've seen) make fun of them, often commenting on the appearance of the women rather than on their musical abilities. I suppose it never hurts to have an attractive lead singer, but ultimately the performances, the music, are what really matters. Female-fronted bands are an increasingly popular presence within the metal community and are arguably shaping the scene in some very important ways.

Edge of Attack's self-titled debut fits squarely into the kind of sound that other bands like them have established. It has a slightly old-school feel to it, one that reminded me a little bit of early Dokken. It's much more accurate to say that they sound like Kobra and the Lotus, Paramore, Epica, and maybe Nightwish. In my opinion, their sound is a little less classically-oriented than Epica or Nightwish. Sure, some of the progressive elements are here, but the music doesn't have the sweep, the grandeur, of those last two bands. I also thought that Roxanne Gordey's vocals weren't quite as dramatic or as elegant as the singers of those bands. She sings well and doesn't give the impression that the band exists solely to back her up. Instead, her singing blends well with what's going on behind her; I can't help but wonder what she would sound like if she let loose a little, though, adding a dramatic flair here and there to give interest and variety to the music. The songwriting here is consistently good, but has a slightly popular feel to it, one that won't appeal to everyone. There's an upbeat feel to the whole thing, a mood that surprised me, especially given the darker themes of the lyrics.

The best things about this album are the twin-guitar harmonies and the vocals. I was really impressed with the way that Dallas Dyck and Jurekk Whipple played together. Many of the solos are drawn from scale patterns and forms that sound best when played in harmony with another player. I looked forward to their moments together and I think that listeners will enjoy these moments as well. I especially recommend the closing track "Set the World Aflame" because the guitars take on a more melancholy feel toward the conclusion. I'd like to see these guys explore their expressive qualities more in future releases.

This is a good album, if a little on the long end. Some of the songs are also a tad too long. Having said that, I should point out that the best song on this album is the nearly 9 minute "Set the World Aflame," the song that has the most dramatic sense of range and musical possibility. As I listened to this song, I thought that I finally captured the sound these guys have created. The music is familiar, but it's played well. Some of the songs employ the all-too-common grunts and growls alongside Gordey's vocals. I'm not sure how necessary or how fresh that sound is any more. I wonder if these guys would get more mileage out of exploring what else Gordey can do and leave the rest alone. Along those same lines, I did not like the song "The Damned," mostly because the vocals didn't sound right. I'm not sure who performed the vocals duties on that track, but they were much weaker than the rest of the album. Generally, though, this is a good band with a strong debut album under their belts.

Track Listing:
1. In Hell
2. The Haunting
3. Demon (Of the Northern Seas)
4. Take Me Alive
5. In the Night
6. Edge of Attack
7. Forever
8. Rise Above
9. the Damned
10. Set the World Aflame

Added: March 5th 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1688
Language: english

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