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Dama - Eirwen 4/5

Reviewed: 12-1-12


1. Alba
2. Regina d'inverno
3. Scatola di vetro (oriente)
4. Aprile
5. Seta
6. Lei
7. Ombre
8. Oltre eclisse
9. Eliot
10. Breaking dawn
11. Your winter
12. Live to tell
13. Rainy roads
14. Lost
15. Scarlet thoughts in room

Dama is a melodic gothic metal band from Italy and this is their debut CD. Their songs are without exception warm, lush, atmospheric and crunchy, with an unusually pleasant thick heaviness in their bass tone; the keys are pervasive and usually acoustic. The song structures are simple and straightforward, each combining several melodies with nearly constant singing with an upbeat, exhilarating chorus. It requires an extremely high level of songwriting to create truly engaging songs with such a formula and it continues to amaze me how well Dama was able to accomplish this on ‘Eirwen’. The melodies are generally introspective and a little melancholy, yet soothing at the same time, and not a few of them are exquisitely beautiful and emotive and haunt you for days after listening to the them. The choruses, in contrast, are poppy, upbeat, hopeful and triumphant.

Their female vocalist, Barbara Schera Vanoli, who is also their primary songwriter and lyricist, is superb. She has an absolutely beautiful soprano style, full of strength, confidence and nuance; indeed, her delivery perhaps more than anything else accounts for the broad tapestry of emotions in the songs, as they effortlessly drift back and forth from poignant to jubilant. She sings about half the songs in her native Italian and the other half in fluent English, with 4 of the songs sung in both languages (so there are actually 11 distinct songs, one of which is a cover of Madonna’s “Live to tell”).

This is one of the most engaging melodic metal CDs I’ve heard in a while, and is perhaps most comparable to Shadowplay, Liquid Sky and Narwhal Tusk, though the song structures on ‘Eirwen’ are generally more simple than the songs of these bands. Even so, it is one of those CDs that subtly but inevitably captivates the listener at a deep emotional level, invariably leaving me, at least, feeling pleasantly pensive after every listen.




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