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Sleeping Romance - Alba

Sleeping Romance
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 12 February 2018, 7:40 AM

Symphonic metal bands are a dime a dozen but then again there isn’t one subgenre in Metal that isn’t over saturated.  After its all said and done, it isn’t what you do that matters but how you do it.  Italy’s SLEEPING ROMANCE do the Symphonic Metal game very well. One noticeable aspect of their sound is that all the vocals are concentrated solely on Federica; there are no clean male vocals like in NIGHTWISH or growls like with EPICA.  Those bands are two of my favorites but both also have those styles penned down.  It’s nice to hear a new (ish) female fronted band who doesn’t try to emulate those two genre leaders and just let their singer shine through on her own.

Her vocals are pretty well rounded and they don’t try to be bombastic. She sings her ass off but it’s in a more subdued and elegant way.  You won’t find her vocals being too operatic (that gets old, quick) or trying too hard to introduce pop elements or other styles that would distract from their sound.Truzi, who also plays guitar, handles the symphonic element with his keys.  As one would expect they are appropriately epic and lush but they also are not the focus.  IF the keys were removed, it would obviously change the band’s sound considerably but it wouldn’t destroy it.  The band itself is a competent metal band there is a lot of focus on riffs.

Lost In My Eyes”, finds the guitars playing fast like STRATOVARIOUS or fellow Italians LABYRINTH.  Federica’s vocals work in tandem with the guitars during the guitars, creating a swirling wall of catchy emotion.  After the second chorus, the keys and riffs come together as one, letting the bass and drums carry the rhythm.  It’s the ability to make all the instruments work so well that is the true strength of the band. “Touch The Sun,” is yet another example of this.  The sparse keys are kept clean during the soft opening with Federica’s higher pitch, softer vocal approach.  When the heavy guitars kick in, so do the keys and drums.  Truly, the band plays wise beyond what their years active would suggest. The shorter song lengths must all be commended.  Long, epic songs have their place, sure, but not every band should do it nor can every band who does so pull it off.  SLEEPING ROMANCE keep things at the right length, with the longest song still being under seven minutes, which is the album highlight, the title track “Alba.”

The super fast power metal assault continues with the riffs, reaching crescendo with the keys.  The song settles at a decent place with a huge, crunch, main riff that the vocals glide alongside.  The chorus is the most catchy on the album.  The song follows the standard verse chorus verse style until after the second chorus ends.  The mid section presents a jam session with the guitars before giving away to clean keys and one of Federica’s best vocal performances on the album; she puts a lot of emotion in but it’s a sort of restrained force that is striking. They might not be original and some of these riffs we have heard before but, overall, SLEEPING ROMANCE has crafted a high quality Symphonic Metal album that any fan of the genre will enjoy.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Overture – Twilight
2. Where The Light Is Bleeding
3. Lost In My Eyes
4. Touch The Sunday
5. Forgiveness
6. My Temptation
7. Across The Sea
8. Everything Behind
9. Through The Looking Glass
10. Alba
11. Underture – Daylight
Federica Lanna – Vocals
Federico Truzi – Guitars, Keyboards
Nicholas Bonavoglia – Guitars
Lorenzo Costi – Bass
Francesco Zanarelli - Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records


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