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Tigersclaw - Princess of the Dark Award winner

Tigersclaw
Princess of the Dark
by Sooraj Ram at 19 July 2017, 8:52 AM

International collaborations are always painstaking and hard to manage. But most of the time, the hard work pays off. Some of the notable online bands include: SLICE THE CAKE, INFANT ANNIHILATOR, USER LIVES and many others. TIGERSCLAW is a recent addition to this list. This self-proclaimed Symphonic Power Metal band holds three artists from two different parts of the World. Fronted by the Talented Russian soprano, band holds the multi-instrumentalist Baier and the German drummer Ralf Neumann to complete a strong line up. The Recording was mainly done in Germany where Elena records her vocal session in Moscow and send them to Germany. Their debut album entitled “Princess of the Dark” was released in the year 2017 through 7Hard Record Label.

“Princess of the Dark” is an hour long transit through Symphonic Power Metal and soulful ballads with 13 halts on the way. Kicking off this melodious expedition with “World of the Dead”, Elena exhibits her ability to do both high and low range vocals as the song starts with high note then quickly changing it to mid and low ranges. She might the next big thing on Symphonic Metal which is ruled by women of various collective such as TARJA, THERION, NIGHTWISH, XANDRIA and many others.  Thunderous drumming wrapped across the simple yet catchy riffage, Instrumentation is not that far from being perfect. Baier is one talented musician, delivering mesmerizing Keys at the right time and making sure that the Instrumentation stay together. If you think the last song was catchy then you might as well check the next song which is the catchiest song on this record. “Princess of the Dark” starts with another high range vocals followed by thunderous drumming. The most fascinating part of this song is the chorus. Princess of the Dark…… that chorus part won't get out of your mind. This track is a genuine Symphonic masterpiece. Digging deep into the instrumentation it’s easier to analyze the drumming and guitar skills independently. But one among the flaws in their song-writing is on the arrangement and mixing. At some points the vocals overshadows the magnificent Instrumentation on the background, which leads to a baffling situation where we are left with just the plain soprano vocals without much instrumentation.

Fortunately that situation ain't everlasting as the following songs does showcase some of the best works from the German duo. Songs like “Like an Angel,” “Eternity" and "Phantasia” are truly a work of art. Among these “Phantasia” is definitely my favourite one. Starting the song with a deliberate guitar riffage followed up melodious vocals from the Princess of the Dark, Elena. “Phantasia” definitely concentrates much on the Instrumentation as Baier gets the spotlight when he does an astounding guitar solo accompanied by some Classical samples which literally made me put the song on repeat for at least six times. “Eternal Flame” is low tempo song which is kinda boring at the first half but, again Baier succeeds with his guitar works. Neumann is relatively an underrated drummer who deserve a hell lot of attention. “Revelation” is one among the vital songs off this album as the previous songs were low tempo, you don't want to bore a listener by putting another long and boring track. That’s where Neumann does his thing. Kick starting the song with thunderous and energetic short lived drum solo accompanied by synth effects courtesy Baier. Probably one among the best songs off this album, “Revelation” is catchy, energetic and melodious.

“Cherokee” might take two or more listens to grow on you since the song is an unusual arrangement of work samples. As the song starts on low tempo but the adrenaline gets pumped up on the midway of the song when Baier makes his frets to work whereas Neumann follows the simple yet energetic drum work accompanied by genuine bass pedal rhythm and swift drum fills. “Divine” makes a perfect song to end an album, slow steady and tight, the song doesn't take much time to make the listener hooked. The Eight minute tracks feels like an eight second of divinity as the song is not at all boring. Utilizing every single second, “Divine” sheds some light on everything Instrument and challenges Elena's vocal range as she uses terrific and mind blowing high range towards the end of the song.

“Princess of the Dark” is a nice album but needs some work on the technicality and mixing, after all this is the best you can expect from a new band that too an online band.   Kudos to TIGERSCLAW for making an album that not just skims through the Symphonic section but utilizing the Power Metal elements at its best and most importantly blending them in a fashion that tends to keep the listeners engaged. Songs like “Princess of the Dark,” “Phantasia,” “Revelation” and “Divine” are enough to understand the authenticity of their music that lean towards the Sympho-Power style. Definitely for all the NIGHTWISH and DREAM THEATER fans as most of their music revolve around the concepts used by the foregoing acts. Probably the best one out of many Symphonic albums released this year, I expect more from this bunch of talented artists and excited for whatever they puts up next.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. World of the Dead
2. Princess of the Dark
3. Storm of Steel
4. Twilight of the Gods
5. Like an Angel
6. Eternity
7. Phantasia
8. Eternal Flame
9. Screams
10. Revelation
11. Cherokee
12. She Rides the Lightning
13. Divine
Lineup:
Elena Minina – Vocals
Alexander Baier – All Music
Ralf Neumann – Drums
Record Label: 7Hard Records
     


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