I am generally not a big fan of female-fronted rock bands, but, I decided to give a listen to the recently-released debut full-length album from Scorching Winter. Even though I am a woman myself, I feel that the smoother voice of a female cannot really satisfy my metal taste, but I was really curious about whether Scorching Winter would actually change my mind.
The title of the album, Victim, sounded interesting to me as the band also stated that this album is based on a story line, and is divided in eight chapters that actually tell this “story”. The titles of the tracks are all quite eerie, for instance “Chapter IV: The Hunt”, or “Chapter VIII: My Gift, My Curse” making it even more appealing to people who enjoy a bit of mystery and darkness in their music.
Pressing the play button for the first song of the album, “Chapter I: The Six Headed Beast” had me pleasantly surprised by the great instrumental opening that made me want to listen to the song till the end. The keyboards right at the beginning of the song really put you into the mood of the whole album, making you feel like you are trapped somewhere and giving you the chills. Then the singing part comes in and I am still actually surprised that I did not feel disappointed. The vocals also follow the mood of the song even though you do not really expect a female voice to make you feel the song’s darkness.
As I kept listening to the rest of the tracks, I realised how much I enjoy the instrumental parts and the way they set up the mood for the darkness and mystery of the album. At some points, though, the vocals felt like they just didn’t match the instruments’ ability to create the atmosphere – even though I could feel all the dynamics of the keyboards, the guitar and the drums, I did not really feel like the singer was following them into this like it did in the first song. The instrumental parts really stole the show for me. Before “Chapter IV: The Hunter”, I had already lost my interest in the singing part and I only felt satisfied and passionate about the guitar, keyboards and drums.
Overall, the album is the result of a great work between talented musicians, but it did not give me exactly what I expected. In fact I expected tracks that would give me the chills, give me the sense of fear because of the evil spirit and all the darkness that is being mentioned in the lyrics and song titles. All I remember from the album is outstanding instrumental performances that brought out a sense of eeriness, and singing parts that had no real dynamics in comparison. I cannot really say that I have changed my mind about female-fronted rock bands and hopefully I am not just prejudiced against them!
Victim is out now and available via Bandcamp (see below) and iTunes.