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On disc: Arven

Music Of Light - Lars Bjørn - 7 stars
Black Is The Colour - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Black Is The Colour

Black Is The Colour
(Massacre Records - 2013)

With Black Is The Colour the German outfit Arven is back. It's still 5 girls and drummer Till Felden. They kick off their sophomore release with Believe, a symphonic tune with a dash of folk / medieval metal. Singer Carina Hanselmann's soprano is powerful and expressive. The emotional but heavy, riff-based Don't Look Back will enchant gothic metal fans as well as fans of Blackmore's Night. A slow keyboard intro leads into Rainsong, a track where Carina Hanselmann can shine. The ladies add some heavy riffs and so it's no cheesy ballad. At The One For Me Arven get joined by Van Canto's Stefan Schmidt, but he can't keep up with Carina Hanselmann! The folk-ish Cercle d'Emeraude is showing the ladies a bit different - and I have to say, I like this instrumental a lot. the German flute gives it a Tull-ish touch. Very nice. With In Your Dreams they carry you into a sonic dreamland. Fireside Stories and My Fall close this chapter, especially the keyboard-intro for My Fall is enchanting, but the whole song is one of the highlights of the album. The digipack has two bonus tracks, Ride On and a different version of the title track. At Ride On they once again use male vocals as a counterpart and this time it works much better. Unfortunately this one didn't make it onto the regular CD...

Fans of melodic metal and symphonic metal who like a bit of folk, should check out the new Arven album!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


Music Of Light

Music Of Light
(Massacre Records - 2011)

First of all, other bands has used the name Arven, but this album comes from the German female band which have exists since 2008, and after a demo in 2008 we are welcoming them to the debut long player distributed via Massacre Records. The main songwriter is guitarist Anastasia Schmidt and she has come with music primary inspired by medieval aspects, Celtic songs, and no doubt that she is a highly qualified songwriter. They bring cello, flute and piano into the songs in a natural way, these instruments are recorded by guest musicians in the studio. Also there have been several concert activity for Arven at Medieval festivals and other concerts in Germany, the concerts abroad has not occurred yet, but with their talent they could go a long way.

Shiny possibilities, but they do have one weak feature, and that is the vocalist Carina Hanselmann. She apparently tries to step in the path of superstars like Tarja Turunen, Anette Olzon, but her voice capacity can hold for that level. I would have been more pleased, if Hanselmann could try to find her own style and make a more personal impact for Arven's music, that would bring then even further. The album has many good songs, Dark Red Desire, great powerful melodic stuff that catches the listener right away. Raise Your Cups has the inspiration from Irish Celtic environment where the impressive flute gives an atmosphere of being in the Irish nature enjoying a night at the local pub. Midwinter Nights is also a great soft ballad taken from the Celtic tradition. They also do more hard music with guitar temperament added to strokes of piano brilliance on the song A Stranger's Story. The general impression is that the basic songwriting is good, but to get it really catchy they need to get more personality to their songs, then I am convinced they could make a monster album next time.

7 stars

Lars Bjørn


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