One of my favorite things in the whole world is when bands let you into their world, a few minutes at a time, by posting behind-the-scenes video footage. I love this stuff and I gobble it up like an addict. Depending on how they approach their little video tidbits, the band can really make you feel like you're with them, and this provides you with a close connection with a band, no matter the distance. Sometime last year I started watching One Without's video postings about the recording process of their latest release Sweet Relief. The handful of video postings created a strong anticipation for the new album, and now it's FINALLY in my hands.
One Without plays a style of Gothic metal similar to that of Lacuna Coil, Evanescence, and the newer releases from Within Temptation (I hope our reader CanuckFan won't disagree with this description). While the songs on Sweet Relief are full or riffs and short on guitar solos, the songs and the production are as solid as brick and mortar. The band is extremely tight and the production is near flawless.
The tunes that make up Sweet Relief are all quite aggressive, and Catrin Feymark's voice helps regulate the intensity of the music. One Without utilize death growls quite a bit to accompany her voice, (and this certainly appeals to many people) and I think they'd do better to use clean harmonization. The opening song "The Hunger" opens the CD with an intense dissonant riff. "Souls of Thousands" has a nice, bouncy, pop-flavored keyboard section that blends in nicely with the power chords that go over it. The single "The Pretender" could easily make it onto the radio and capture an audience. "Accusing Eyes" is a solid rocker, and the last of 17 songs, "This Is War", has some nice pseudo-psychedelic moments. This leads me to my real issue with this CD: it has 17 songs, which translates into over an hour of music. I think the album would be helped if they were to take off four or so of those songs and saved them for future singles or b-sides.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, I've been waiting many months for One Without to release Sweet Relief. My verdict: the wait was well worth it. This album boasts aggressive songs, great production, and is available as a free or donation download on their website . Yes you heard me correctly, free. I would recommend that with the high caliber and large amount of songs and the quality of production, you should help the band out and make a donation so that they can continue to deliver killer music. Whatever you decide to do, One Without's Sweet Relief is excellent.
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Live Long and Rock Hard,
Space Kev's Rating: 8.25 out of 10