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Miracle Flair - 'Angels Cast Shadows' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/6d/86/b5/miracle-flair-angels-cast-shadows-18-1521051713.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 14, 2018    
 
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I've tried to get into this, I really have, but a lot of it washes over me.

This Swiss band is quite hard to label. They're a Female-Fronted act and while there's a touch of Symphonic Rock in Nicole Hartmann's delivery, the music has elements of Industrial Metal, Nu-Metal, Goth and Classic Metal about it. Hartmann's voice can be quite lilting at times, giving a slight Folkiness to the proceedings as well. You might name check Nightwish or Within Temptation as influences and they also remind me a lot of Exoterik, but they also have enough of their own identity too. The band's creative heart is Hartmann and guitarist Daniel Maurizi. The pair writes songs with Maurizi laying down the heavy background for Hartmann's sweet vocals and melodies over the top.

I've tried to get into this, I really have, but a lot of it washes over me. It has some well-structured songs like the heavy title track which lets everyone know that the band have moved in a heavier direction since their 2011 debut 'Inner Peace Of Mind'. 'Soul Witness' also works and 'I Am Your Truth' is the highlight. This track is recorded twice, first in full electric mode and then acoustically at the record's end. I have to say this acoustic version gets my nod for best on the album, ironic when it's a departure from the sound of the rest of the record.

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I feel if you have a foot in the Symphonic camp you have to embrace it fully with a big (Michael) Wagnerian sounding production and I think that's where I struggle with the record. Maurizi has some good tunes and he's technically a good guitarist, but there's a sense that this has been created on a small budget out of a bedroom studio where in fact a big, flash sound is needed. Bigger layered guitars, keyboards and a celestial choir to back Hartmann's lead would help it pack a bigger punch. Either that or go the other way entirely; with Hartmann's voice working so well on the acoustic track at the end then perhaps they would do well to go in that direction, putting her voice front and centre and have the instrumentation there just to add colour.

Either way, there's talent in Maurizi and Hartmann, but I think how they deliver the music needs a tweak to let the songs really shine. For Symphonic and Gothic Metal fans I suggest you investigate and make up your own minds.

Duncan Jamieson

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