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On disc: Alhena

Alhena - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars


(self-released - 2011)

Alhena was founded in Bydgoszcz in 2010 and in summer 2011 they recorded this 5-track EP. Alhena is a quintet and all members have been active in bands before, but now focus on Alhena. They kick off with Trial, a progressive, dark rocker where complex elements are combined with the warm, emotional vocals of Katarzyna Dziemianowicz. Her dark timbre and powerful voice is a real asset for Alhena, at least for me.

If I would have to describe her voice I would say she sounds like a mix of Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) and Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering). Better kicks off with Piotr Kowalski's keyboard, but soon becomes a rocker with heavy riffs and soaring keyboard parts... A sonic roller coaster ride.

The powerful ballad You Lost Me is keeping the focus on Katarzyna Dziemianowicz's vocals and the guys step back to give her all the space to shine. At Breath they offer heavy parts and smooth, keyboard-based passages, on top Katarzyna Dziemianowicz shows another facet of her talent. The closer Nemesis is an instrumental which is showing off the talent of the guys without clashing egos, at Alhena's songs the song has priority and not the technical skills of the band members. But to be honest, I miss Katarzyna Dziemianowicz's vocals... That's just me, I'm not a fan of instrumental music. Anyway, fans of prog rock should keep an eye on Alhena and if you usually avoid prog rock, but like darkened rock, then check them out. All songs are available on the band's YouTube channel to listen to. I'm looking forward to hear more from the Polish!

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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