Nivaira - The city 3.5/5

Reviewed: 4-13-07





Tracklist:

1. Snowy laces
2. Starkad
3. Gudrun
4. Endless ice
5. Fairytale
6. For the king's advice
7. Springless
8. The city
9. Bes de llum
10. King wolf


'The city' is the debut from Nivaira, a new melodic power metal band from Spain consisting of only 3 members, 2 of which are from the band Lorien (now defunct). The first member is David Tordera, who was the main guitarist of Lorien, and he also provided the backing vocals. The 2nd member is Dani Ruiz, who was the drummer of Lorien. Much to my liking, they've acquired a female vocalist (Diana Alieva) as their 3rd band member.

Nivaira is not an exclusively female fronted band however, as Diana shares the vocal duties with David, who has decided to move up from the backing vocal position (as he was with Lorien) and take on a lead role. Their vocals are in harmony many times throughout the CD, but they also seem to duel/alternate a lot as well. Diana has a very nice and smooth voice, quite fitting for a melodic power metal band. While Lorien vocalist Jordi Tordera has a voice that ranges from low to high-pitched, David seems to sit more in the mid-range, and just like Diana, has a smooth voice. Together, they create a very well done vocal department.

Musically, there are a few noticable differences between Lorien and Nivaira. For one, there are no keyboards on 'The city', while Lorien offered up a fair amount of keys. Secondly, David handles both the lead and rhythm guitars, which means that besides the drums from Dani, David has provided the entire musical portion of the CD (along with half of the vocals). Because David is the guitarist of both bands, Lorien fans can rest assured that the guitar work on 'The city' is quite similar to what's heard on the Lorien CDs, including some of those signature galloping riffs.

All of the songs on 'The city' are upbeat with about as much speed as what's heard on the Lorien CDs. A few slower parts are present, most notably the opening moments of track 4 "Endless ice", where David and Diana's vocals are wonderfully in harmony. All songs are pretty much at a consistent quality level too, but I will say that my favorite is track 3 "Gudrun", which is probably the catchiest song on the CD.

While it was disappointing to learn that Lorien reached the end of their road, it's nice to know that at least a portion of the band is continuing on with something else. Though I like both Lorien CDs just a little bit more than 'The city', it's still a great start for the band and Lorien fans would be smart to quickly pick this up. The CD is quite short (only 33 minutes), but contains quality from start to finish and is definitely recommended.



CLINT




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