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Madame Mayhem: Now You See

You don't end up with a backing band consisting Ray Luzier (Korn), Billy Sheehan (Mr Big/The Winery Dogs), Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal (Guns n' Roses), Russ Parrish (Steel Panther), Corey Lowery (Stuck Mojo) and Simone Sello unless people believe in you. So you'd guess someone's putting their money where Madame Mayhem's voice is, because as cast lists go, this one's as stellar as they come. Style wise MM is less obviously focused, a scattergun of hard rock, nu-metal, pop, melodic rock and the goth that goes with Madame's image, fired out across this diverse offering. The results initially remain – possibly not too surprisingly – a little stand offish, the almost Alice In Chains attack of "Witchcraft" not quite sure what to do with itself and "Perfect Nightmare" struggling to inject another Alice, that of Mr. Cooper, into a more modern framework.

Mayhem's voice is as striking as her appearance and yet it's hard to suggest that it completely convinces on every song. Yes, on "...After 2AM" her range and power come across strongly and whilst inflicting "Pain", her less forced approach (something not utilised often enough) reveals a technically gifted singer of real talent. Yet on the album's opening cut, "Monster", there's a hint of a whine in there somewhere and when a real powerful scream is reached for, it becomes a grating squeal that holds little authority. The young front-woman has a hand in the songwriting on all thirteen original songs and alongside Lowery and Sheehan proves a force to be reckoned with in that crucial department. Although, the overwrought and utterly pointless cover of the Burt Bacharach/Cilla Black number, "Anyone Who Had A Heart" proves a step too far, the slow lumbering acoustic-metal by numbers bringing nothing whatsoever to the party.

As a showcase of Madame Mayhem's songwriting skills, Now You Know does a good job of suggesting there's real promise here, while vocally, give or take a few faux-pas, this young lady really does give a reasonably strong account of herself. However when you take this album as a whole, the effect is somewhat diluted due to the mish-mash of styles crammed in. Possibly next time round, less focus on assembling an all-star cast and instead ensuring a clear musical vision is adhered to, will result in a far more rounded and engaging showcase of a clearly talented young lady.

Track Listing
1. Monster
2. Perfect Nightmare
3. Something Better (Now You Know)
4. Left For Dead
5. Witchcraft
6. More Than Misery
7. Better Days
8. …After 2 Am
9. Nothing to Lose
10. Under The Microscope
11. Sacrifice
12. Pain
13. Can't Stand
14. Anyone Who Had A Heart

Added: January 9th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Madame Mayhem on Facebook
Hits: 1514
Language: english

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