DAKRYA       Monumento
Another Sphere Records (release: May 23rd, 2008)

DAKRYA comes from Greece and Monumento is the first album from this hopeful band. They define their music as Theatrical Atmospheric Metal so you can find here what to expect: two female singers (lead and classic vocals), keyboards, piano, sweet melodies… and so on. The other thing you could expect in this musical style is the presence of brutal vocals the Death Metal way. And here they are, thanks to Dagwn from NETHESCERIAL! Thus, this record isn't that original to fall flat on your back because it sounds a little like many bands at their debut (THEATRE OF TRAGEDY, WITHIN TEMPTATION… to name but a few).
But remember, this is their first one (fully composed by female keyboard player SophiaX) so you should consider it another way. You discover many qualities then: the three kinds of voices are subtly shared, the arrangements are much worked, guitars are present without being overwhelming, the tempo often speeds up (Reflexions And Illusions, Waters Of Oblivion…) to bring energy back when necessary, which make the whole well balanced. It's not a collection of ballads anyway, even if all ends with Wingless Souls, a gloomy song in an orchestral version.
Monumento is finally a very pleasant first album on which DAKRYA's members already raise the bar high…Laurent

HEADHUNTER       Parasite Of Society
AFM Records (release: May 23rd, 2008)

We've had to wait 14 years to see them release Parasite Of Society which is still in their favourite style, Power/Thrash Metal. And still the same musicians: Schmier from DESTRUCTION on vocals and bass, Schmuddel on guitar who plays in TALON too and the drummer that everybody longs to enrol, Jörg Michael, who doesn't need introduction as he's so excellent (I think so). It's not a grand album but they offer us two covers even so: JUDAS PRIEST's Rapid Fire and SKID ROW's 18 And Life.Jean-Luc

SYRENS CALL       Live From The Abyss
Thundering Records (release: May 23rd, 2008)

You should notice that the cover on the left has not the usual size. It's because we deal with a DVD this time and you must admit that this kind of project is quite uncommon for a non-professional band.
Thus, Live From The Abyss is the video testimony of the show celebrating the tenth anniversary of French Prog' Metal act SYRENS CALL at Nautylis in Comines, on May 3rd, 2007.
But I hear some people say (yes, I do): "Yeah, they know the musicians well so it's gonna be cronyism again…". No! Let's put relationship aside and have critical and even-handed thinking (what do you mean: "for once"?).
Well… OK, the stuff is an elegant full-colour digipack including a DVD, a CD and a booklet. Well… OK, you have a pro-quality image made by a professional team with professional equipment, including several professional cameras. Well… OK, every musician is skilful than ever, playing without failure (there are no overdubs on the final cut), with a particular distinction to… no, everybody is on top of form. And the current line-up is perfectly trained now and plays songs taken from their previous discography which give the impression of classics from now. Well… OK, you have guitars duels and even a keyboard/guitar duel full of virtuosity on a cover of a Johann Sebastian Bach (but I can't remember the name of his own band, it's not SKID ROW anyway). Well… OK, frontwoman Soraya, dressed all in white, illuminates the place with her grace and charisma, singing with her melodic but also powerful voice when necessary. And she even starts to let loose, compared to her first performances in our Metal world she was discovering then. Well… OK, the little acoustic set (they get into the habit now) is an enchanting moment of pure happiness. Well… OK, the enthusiastic audience play their part very well. Well… OK, they dare to end the gig by grappling with QUEEN's The Show Must Go On but they brilliantly succeed, into the bargain with a guest (Vincent Vercaigne from AMARTIA on guitar), backing singers, bubbles and confetti guns (they don't use pyro here, maybe next time). You have everything!  Well… OK, the bonuses are interesting. The first one is about SYRENS CALL's story (with interviews of the musicians) and the second one is a funny documentary which shows the organisation of the concert, and both are directed with care. Well… OK, you should consider the included CD as a best-of the DVD (minus the picture, obviously). Well... OK… enough!
Let's talk about the negative points. And the main problem is that instead of wasting your time by reading this review, you'd better order a copy of this pro masterpiece (I do insist for the last time) on the band's website or turn your computer off and rush to the nearest record shop. Now!...Laurent