One Without - Thoughts of a secluded mind 3.5/5

Reviewed: 9-4-09





Tracklist:

1. Farewell
2. Your game
3. Before we all
4. Separation
5. Withered serenade
6. Reign with hate
7. Ignorance
8. Distance between
9. Reachable existence
10. Once in silence
11. Lost to solitude
12. Chained


The gothic rock/metal scene has been in a lull period as of late, with nothing really new standing out amongst the ranks. With the headliner gothic bands like Within Temptation, Xandria, Nightwish, Poisonblack and Charon (among others) in-between CDs, things have been a little quiet. All is not lost, however, with the latest Lacuna Coil release recently hitting the shelves (although the jury is still out on that CD); while later in the year we shall see new releases from Epica and Leaves’ Eyes. It seems that currently the lesser known, up and coming and newest gothic metal bands are the only other means of satisfaction to gothic metal fans who are having withdrawals.

One such up and coming gothic metal band, Sweden’s One Without have released their debut CD, entitled ‘Thoughts of a secluded mind’. Forming in 2003, One Without released 2two demos and a single before getting their big break, being signed by Lifeforce Records. Now in 2009, it has taken the band 6 years to finally release their first CD, and a great CD it is too.

Consisting of guitarists Kenny Boufadene and Joonas Niskanen, bassist Kristofer Bergman and drummer Olle Töpel, the band is rounded out by female vocalist Catrin Feymark. Catrin is a very talented singer, who sounds like a cross between After Forever’s Floor Jansen and Within Temptation’s Sharon Den Adel; plus I could also add a similarity with Amy Lee from Evanescence and ex-Dark Moor and Fairyland vocalist, Elisa C. Martin. Despite her talent, Catrin can be a little monotone at times during certain songs, where more emotion would have really suited. Unlike most of the female gothic metal vocalists, Catrin does not break out the lung bursting high notes, instead intent on singing in a lower, melodic mid-range fashion.

Heavier and more aggressive than the majority of female fronted gothic metal bands, although there is a hint of pop and in their sound, One Without could best be compared to early Lacuna Coil (‘Unleashed memories’, ‘Comalies’) before they went mainstream. Also, there could be comparisons to a few other gothic metal bands as well. Adding further spice to the music is the addition of backing “screamo” vocals from guitarist Kenny Boufadene, although his voice is sparingly used in the chorus’ only. Definitely not a Lacuna Coil clone, One Without have unearthed an awesome combination of strong, crisp and melodic guitaring (slightly down-tuned to give that synthetic, depressive and emotional feeling), heavy bass and technical drumming; and lastly creative touches of synths/keys. The end result is greatly refreshing and certainly nothing short of fantastic, and just what the gothic metal genre needed right about now.

There are many gems to be found inside ‘Thoughts of a secluded mind’, including the heavy yet somewhat radio-friendly “Your game”, the grinding opener “Farewell”, the haunting “Before we all”, the slow and emotional “Withered serenade” and the final track on the CD “Chained”. I could go on, but I would like anyone who has found this band to be up your alley to go and discover ‘Thoughts of a secluded mind’ for yourself. The only downside to this CD is that the tracks do follow the same type of song structure and it can get a tad repetitive towards the end of the CD. This is understandable for a debut release and the upside is that the band can only get better with future releases.

‘Thoughts of a secluded mind’ is definitely a CD worth getting excited about for all you gothic metal followers, especially the ones who love female fronted gothic metal bands such as Lacuna Coil, After Forever, Within Temptation, Theatre of Tragedy and Leaves’ Eyes. This is an excellent debut CD which has breathed new life into the gothic genre and One Without certainly has the right chemistry to be a potential heavyweight in the industry and they should go on to be quite successful in my opinion.



SEAN




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