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Asrai: Touch in the Dark

Had enough of symphonic metal bands with operatic female singers? Introducing Asrai, a five-piece outfit from The Netherlands that counts three three! female members. Formed back in 1988, Asrai's roots lie in various punk and new wave bands, but its second CD, Touch in the Dark, dances maniacally in the twilight zone between gothic rock and heavy metal. Singer Margriet Mol's powerful voice is more Ann Wilson and Sinead O'Connor than Tarja Turunen or Floor Jansen, and she's amply backed by drummer Karin Mol and keyboardist/violinist Manon Van Der Hidde, who both play a more vital role in Asrai's music than their male guitar- and bass-playing counterparts. Lyrically, the band stays rooted in the ethereal dark ("The shadows fall/And the silence returns/You feel the forest breathe/And she gives the breath of life"). But the earthy depth of Mol's vocals and the entire band's seeming lack of pretension is refreshing in an age when so much shadow-tinged symphonic metal while still enjoyable if not a bit too familiar gets lost in its own majestic aspirations.

Track Listing:
1) In Front of Me (4:53)
2) Pale Light (4:36)
3) Whisper (5:44)
4) Restless (4:23)
5) Touch in the Dark (5:02)
6) Tower (6:19)
7) Dream (4:16)
8) Child (4:59)
9) Garden (4:06)
10) Shadows (3:22)
Total Time: 47:51

Added: October 7th 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Asrai Web Site
Hits: 3563
Language: english

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