Envinya - Inner silence 4/5
3. Inner silence
4. In my hands
6. Satin and silk
7. Mirror soul
8. Too late
9. Beyond the dark
Hailing from Munich, Germany comes a new melodic heavy metal band called Envinya. With gothic influences also flowing throughout their sound, Envinya features keyboardist Monika Strobl, drummer Enrico Jung, guitarists Marcus Herz/Thomas Knauer and bassist Lorenz Henger.
You might see an absence of a vocalist from that list and that is because at the time of this review, Envinya currently don’t have a singer, however at the time of the band’s debut CD entitled ‘Inner silence’ was recorded, fronting the band was German native Natalie Pereira dos Santos. Before the CD was even released (late January, 2013), Natalie had decided to leave back in October 2012, a startling and surprising move according to the rest of the band.
After a demo and an EP released in 2007 and 2010 respectively, Envinya were soon signed by Massacre Records and a worldwide distribution of ‘Inner silence’ ensued. The CD features 10 tracks of quality melodic heavy metal, which already strays away from the typical metal genre that female fronted bands usually cover, however while listening to ‘Inner silence’ you can also hear gothic and progressive metal influences. While the saturating of the keys/synths gives of an atmospheric (almost neo-classical) feel, there is also a symphonic fluttering throughout the CD, as well as a dark sound overall; which makes for ‘Inner silence’ to be a tantalising piece of metal music that is quite difficult to categorise or label.
With great reactions from the metal media to their 5-track EP in 2010, there seems to be a fair fuss over Envinya, with higher expectations over this debut CD. It is disappointing that Natalie Pereira dos Santos decided to leave in the most exciting part of Envinya’s career to this point, particularly when she worked so well with the band’s structure, and obviously is a great singer as well. On ‘Inner silence’, she takes centre stage, with guitarist Thomas Knauer singing snarling and growly backing vocals here and there throughout each track. Natalie is very much a talented vocalist, having that ‘diva’ styled approach, but only occasionally singing at the highest of levels that other female singers reach (Simone Simons, Sharon den Adel for example). Far from operatic, Natalie has a wonderful natural voice, which is very melodic, passionate and powerful; standing on her own against the fierce guitar riffs and pummelling drumming around her.
The diversity and unpredictability heard on each track on the release shows great songwriting ability, with each song’s tempo constantly changing while also encompassing its own identities and character. While the entire CD is excellent, one song that stood out the most is the dark-tinged, mid-paced title track, which showcases Natalie’s brilliant vocals (why did she leave, damnit), and also featuring some notch-top aggressive guitar work and wonderfully used synths as well.
Another wicked track is “Satin and silk”, which is another darkened track with Knauer’s gnarling vocals a huge hit and sits perfectly with the music. Again there are some powerful guitar riffs and double-bass pummelling in parts to keep your head banging in approval. Other kick-ass tracks on ‘Inner silence’ include the bombastic and atmospheric CD opener “Faceless”, the catchy, melodic and memorable “Beyond the dark” and lastly “Too late”, which again is atmospheric and symphonic; with Natalie at the top of her game backed up by Knauer’s snarls here and there.
Overall I'm very impressed with ‘Inner silence’ considering that this is Envinya’s debut release. Sadly they won’t sound exactly this way again, with the departure of Natalie, but hopefully the next female singer they acquire will be just as good but will have big shoes to fill at the same time. With no real immediate comparisons to this band that I can think of, which just goes to show how good this band is, if you are into female fronted dark melodic metal with gothic undertones and saturated synths, then Envinya is the band of choice for you. An excellent debut that is sure to turn heads as well as banging them, Envinya definitely have a successful future in front of them if they continue to produce releases like this one.
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