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Andem - Daughter of moonlight 4.5/5

Reviewed: 6-26-09


1. Beginning origin
2. Guardian of swords
3. Daughter of moonlight
4. Midnight guest
5. Saints of light
6. The way to pandemonium
7. Master and margarita
8. The pray
9. Goths walk to Rome
10. Songs of sandy blizzards

It was less than a year ago that I reviewed Andem's debut 'Pendulum of life' and in a surprising way, they're already back with their 2nd CD 'Daughter of moonlight'. For those who missed my review of their debut, Andem is a Russian-language band (the title and tracklist are translated) and 'Pendulum of life' was the first excellent Russian-language CD to feature "beauty and the beast" vocals (with exception of a few folk metal bands like Alkonost), at least that I had come across. As for style, that CD is a symphonic/gothic/power metal mix with extremely catchy songs and it's a CD I listen to regularly.

Since grabbing 'Pendulum of life', I've also picked up the similar debut 'Beyond the side of doubt' from Demogorgon, and their CD features mostly Russian-language songs. I've also discovered other similar Russian bands, and off the top of my head, they would be Elnordia and Amederia, but the debuts from those bands ('Insight' and 'Sometimes we have wings') are sung in English. My point is, while 'Pendulum of life' was my first experience with an excellent Russian band that contains the "beauty and the beast" vocal style, there are certainly others, though I definitely consider 'Pendulum of life' to be the best I've heard so far.

Anyway, not only has Andem surprised me with their quick release of 'Daughter of moonlight', they've also completely shocked me by switching styles, all in less than a year! Yep, for the most part, they've dropped their gothic side and the "beast" is nearly in total absence, with exception of just one song (track 7 "Master and margarita"). What Andem has done is moved full force into female fronted symphonic power metal, and while there are slight musical aspects present that remind me of their debut, this CD is quite different, especially regarding the amount of speed, as nearly every song is fast-paced.

Rather than spit out numerous comparisons for this CD, I'll instead simply call it a blend of Nightwish's 'Oceanborn' and 'Wishmaster', but Sphinx's 'Ghost' is also comparable, especially since that too is a Russian-language CD. Vocally, Yuliana Savchenko (who's also the vocalist on their debut) isn't nearly as operatic as Tarja Turunen (Nightwish's vocalist on their 'Oceanborn' and 'Wishmaster' CDs), but there's no doubt that she's an amazing singer and I actually think her range fits the music perfectly.

What can I say, I love every song on this fantastic CD and the amount of speed, which I'm totally digging, truly makes this a much different listen than their debut. It's also very symphonic and even bombastic at times, and really, if you're a huge fan of 'Oceanborn' and 'Wishmaster' (like myself) you'll thoroughly enjoy this. At this point, I think I like this CD just a bit more than their debut, but that could change day to day, depending on what style I'm in the mood for. Regardless, we've got a band with a tremendous amount of talent (capable of releasing 2 CDs in different styles), and I'm curious as to what their 3rd CD will bring.




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