posted on 5/2007 By:
Wow. I’m usually the last one to line up for gothic/opera type metal, but what I heard on this three-song demo struck a chord with me pretty much immediately. Danish band Akoma play heavy, melodic goth metal with some stellar female vocals and effective symphonic accompaniments. Sound familiar? Sure, this style has been done plenty of times before, but Akoma stand out from the pack in several ways, mainly because they make sure to keep things heavy even when moods are at their most romantic. Riffing is smooth and refreshingly powerful and everything is extremely well-produced, especially for a self-released demo. As soon as the crisp, bottom-heavy riffing and the beautifully haunting singing of Tanya Bell (remember the name) exploded out of my speakers following the symphonic intro on opener “Lost Forest” I knew I was hearing something with real potential. I was also pleased at how Akoma stray from the predictable song structures that plague many similar bands and instead choose to let the songs run their emotional course in a more natural fashion. Rather than just trying to make the music as catchy as possible, these compositions have a compelling narrative feel to them that is absent in many of their more experienced peers.
But the thing that stood out to me most about these three songs is how genuine everything felt. Gothic metal is by its nature melodramatic and emotional, but the music on Lost Forest came across as a true expression of feeling from the members and not just a band adhering to what is expected in the genre, and that‘s something I really respect. I certainly wasn’t expecting it, but I felt a kind of connection with the music and lyrics here that I usually don‘t with these types of bands, especially on the heartfelt closer “Forgotten Hero.” These are talented musicians playing from the heart, and that’s always going to shine through no matter what the style of music is. Sure, there are a couple of moments when things get a little clumsy or when the singing goes a tad overboard, but overall this is a very well-written and superbly recorded demo, and this is coming from someone who normally has very little love for this kind of metal. I’m pretty sure that this is meant to be a teaser for an upcoming release, so watch out for it when it comes.
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