Noisy Toyz - Forever One

(CD 2014, 53:41, Dark Sound Records)

The tracks:
  1- Avalon
  2- In Paradise
  3- Forever One
  4- Trail Of Tears
  5- April Rain
  6- Salvation
  7- Memories
  8- The Path Of Eternity
  9- Broken Dreams
10- The Last Dance

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When a CD is handed to you, a first impression is made by the sight of the cover of it's cover. Now I always try to be open and unprejudiced, but when you see the band name Noisy Toyz, my first thought would go back to the hair metal days of the late eighties. The picture tells me a slightly different story; gothic, doom, dark wave? Thoughts aside, let's unwrap the Forever One cover and listen to the music and see, or better, hear what kind of music awaits, but first a little introduction: Noisy Toys is a quartet from Hampshire, U.K. that's fronted by female vocalist Liza Axworthy. The band's composer, guitarist and keyboard player is Mars Marshall and we find Dave Jenkins on bass and Steve Cartwright on drums, but the latter seems to have been replaced by a guy called Paul, no last name, according to the band's website.

Ok, hair metal is not quite the right word for the music Noisy Toyz produces; my second guess gothic, comes a lot closer. The band plays a very orchestrated form of progressive and gothic rock, influenced by bands like Nightwish; certainly when Lisa goes opera, as she does in the opening track called Avalon and in The Path Of Eternity. Other influences come from Within Temptation; Forever One, The Last Dance, but also bands like Leave's Eyes and Epica have left their mark on the band's music. A strong composition is the ballad type composition Broken Dreams, where the vocals are doubled, creating a nice atmosphere. After listening to it a few, I come to realize there is something funny with the drum sound; during The Path Of Eternity I get the impression the drums are computerized, or at least elements of them, but overall this is no reason for disturbance. What does bother me a bit is the overall sound. Sometimes the orchestration is overwhelmingly mixed to the front. With the exception of the aforementioned Broken Dreams, most of the compositions seem to be a bit less interesting than songs by the bands that have been of influence usually come up with, which results in this band looming in the shadow of the familiar names in the gothic metal/ rock scene.

The impression I get is as if Noisy Toyz tries their best to move a step further up the ladder, but in execution they remain one or several steps behind the bands they look up to. Forever One is a solid album, but it takes more to keep me focused on music from this genre. Noisy Toyz certainly has potential, but please change your band name to something more suitable to the style you play.

*** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Esther Ladiges)

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