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Gold - 'Interbellum' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/de/42/b1/3366_GoldInterbellum_1361925478.jpg Hot

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There’s no zealot like a convert and I’m more than happy to champion Gold’s cause.

I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t actually ‘get’ Gold’s debut single ‘Gone Under’ c/w ‘Medicine Man’ when it came out earlier in the year; at the time it left me colder than a cloudy day in Cardiff. So it came as a more than just a pleasant surprise to press play on their first full-length release and to be hit with a refreshing blast of contemporary if faintly indefinable metal.

Gold is the brainchild of ex-The Devil’s Blood guitarist Thomas Sciarone and vocalist Milena Eva. With the addition of long-time friends Igor Wouters (drums) and Harm Haverman (bass) to form the engine room plus second guitarist Nick Polak, the Dutch band have been turning a few heads since issuing that seven-incher, and a return to the Amsterdam Recording Company studios have resulted in their first full-length outing ‘Interbellum’.

The band themselves describe ‘Interbellum’ as “nine energetic hard-rocking pop songs” with which they might be selling themselves short. Whereas it’s not metal as in face-flaying, skin-shredding riffs, it’s shot through with metal attitude – the solo in opener ‘One Of Us’ should be enough evidence for that – entwined with a gloriously retro Seventies twist. As a point of reference, some of Grace Slick’s solo work like ‘Angel Of Night’ is the closest comparator that springs to mind, although with a much heavier backing. Much of that comparison arises from Eva’s vocals which are little short of spectacular as she imbues each song with a true depth and breadth.

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Every composition stands on its own merits, being both expressive and dynamic and projecting a vision that this is a band on a mission, a band who have taken great time and pleasure in crafting these songs that they now want to showcase to a wider audience. Highlights? Well, the closing pair of ‘The Hunt’ and the enigmatic, slow-burning yet visceral seven minute epic ‘Ruby’ take some beating, and there’s a personal, delicious irony – isn’t there always – in that those two single cuts, newly re-recorded for the album, are now amongst my personal highlights: Eva’s performance on the anthemic stomp of ‘Gone Under’ is in a class of its own, and the quirky ‘Medicine Man’ has a refrain that indelibly stamps itself on your consciousness.

With production by Wouters and Vanderbuyst guitarist Willem Verbuyst (who turns in a guest solo on ‘Ruby’), ‘Interbellum’ is one of those albums that require time and patience to become acquainted with. Repeated plays unearth more and more of beauty and value in each and every song, and perseverance is the key to a garden of delights.

There’s no zealot like a convert and I’m more than happy to champion Gold’s cause, believe me.

John Tucker

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