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Amederia : Unheard Prayer

Amederia's derivative retreading of Gothic/Doom standards does not reach inspiring heights.

As fans of Draconian impatiently wait for the bandís upcoming album, and fans of The Sins of Thy Beloved remain bitter over their now-official disbandment, they have this new output from Russian group Amederia to keep them entertained. However, for those wanting to hear something refreshing or unique out of the hit-or-miss reigns of Gothic/Doom Metal, like me, you may not find such entertainment in this album. Six years after the release of their first album, 'Sometimes We Have Wings', the group hasnít done much to break out of the box and stand out from their influences. Though some clear potential is there, I feel the band still needs to expand on their sound, as opposed to re-releasing their prior work with this release.

Opening track 'Eden' is a gloomy piano overture that sets the mood of the rest of the album; drudging forward with a calm and resigned kind of sadness that isnít melodramatic or overbearing. This quiet intro bleeds into 'Who We Are' and, on this track alone, the full extent of the bandís music is demonstrated. Morose and nearly funeral-paced riffs are mixed with weeping guitar solos, symphonic sounding keys, simplistic drumming patterns, and of course, the combination of male grunts and clean female vocals. Female vocalist Gulnaz Bagirova has a nice and melancholic voice that, like many decent clean singers in this style of music, is a bit underutilized. She sounds a lot like Lisa Johansson, with a velvety and depressed mezzo-soprano tone that is more soothing than operatic, and itís not bad at all. The male growls are gnarled bellows that sound more monotonous than intense, though they donít ugly up the music too much, nor do his deep clean vocals sound too much like another Aaron Stainthorpe wannabe (like *ahem* Tales of Dark anybody?). If anything, I would have liked to have heard more of these operatic baritone vocals that the growler is capable of. Problem is, the only track itís fully utilized is duet ballad 'The Dance of Two Swans', which reeks of goofy romantic cheese that I feel should be banned from music altogether.

What I find to be mostly problematic, aside from how generic it sounds, is that the music utterly lacks any kind of aggression or intensity, as even the most melodic and romantic of bands like these tend to have some kind of edge or harshness to them, such as a thick guitar tone or some occasional blastbeats here and there. The album just sort of floats, and while sounding atmospheric and dreamy isnít a bad thing, there need to be some interesting melodies or intricacies within the music to keep it from lulling the listener too much. Thereís so little movement in the music and so little variation in riffs or song structure, that it all becomes too predictable. Only briefly on two tracks ('Angelís Fall' and 'Together') does the pace start to pick up and come close to reaching some sort of climax, but it never meets the heights of sounding epic or profound. In all bluntness, I just find it boring and uninspired.

Gothic and Symphonic Metal tend to be scoffed at as being too melodic and saccharine, and Iíve always found that fairly decent bands get overlooked because of such assumptions. Well, the thing is, I really donít think Amederia is a band I can defend, considering how they are one of many to have re-created the gloomy and romantic sound that was once mastered by Draconian on their 'Where Lovers Mourn' album. Groups like Nox Aurea and Lethian Dreams have been capable of taking a similar style and forging their own unique twist into it (or, in the latterís case, progressively moving away from the clichťs of the style altogether), but many fail to sound any different from the original. I honestly have to say that this album doesnít stick out to me in the sea of romantic Gothic/Doom/Death Metal bands that have been playing this style for the past 20 years.

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Reviewer's rating: 4/10


Tracklist :
1. Eden
2. Who We Are
3. Loneliness in Heaven
4. The Dance of Two Swans
5. Forbidden Love
6. Angelís Fall
7. Together
8. Sunset

Duration : Approx. 61 minutes

Visit the Amederia bandpage.

Reviewed on 2015-01-26 by Dante DuVall
Aesthetic Death
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