Polish female fronted metal band Alhena started in 2010 with core members; keyboard player Piotr Kowalski, guitarist Tomasz Bogulski and drummer Piotr Grugel. Initially the band recorded an EP with a different vocalist and bass player and after several years of line-up changes, vocalist Marta Bejma and bass player Patryk Durko are the ones who finally seemed to have closed the ranks of Alhena. I refer to “seemed” because the bass guitar on the album is played by Jędrzej Kołecki. As a guest vocalist, Damian Bednarski adds his growls to one song.
Breaking The Silence ... By Scream sees thirteen tracks, including a short intro and outro of female fronted symphonic rock and metal. With most symphonic bands with female voices, the opera style sopranos are in the lead, Alhena tends to go more into the direction of Dutch band The Gathering, more specific, towards Anneke Van Giersbergen, just because Marta has a similar voice. In addition, she even tonates like the Dutch diva. To be clear, Alhena is not a clone of The Gathering, elements of bands like Retrospective also come to mind. Musically the tracks are mostly in a mid-tempo with the occasional burst of great guitar riffs and the obligated double bass drums. Great tracks like Nemesis, Alhena, Enough or Awakening are beautifully orchestrated and perfectly blend smooth piano parts with extraordinary guitar soloing. The only complaint I might have is the fact all compositions seem to have layout and therefore have a similar feel. Nevertheless, the overall sound and feel if a great one.
Breaking The Silence ... By Scream is a fine debut album after the release of their EP Alhena (2011, see review). As I referred to; close to The Gathering, but still having that fine distinguished Polish progressive metal sound, which I love. I have to credit guitarist Tomasz for his well-found solos, which are very tasteful.
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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