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Gutter Sirens - Horror makers 3/5

Reviewed: 11-24-06


1. Towards the dark eternity
2. Horror makers
3. On the other side
4. The new horizon
5. Looking for the night
6. The power of inspiration
7. The enchanted place
8. Monologues
9. The death of the day
10. Lullaby

Gutter Sirens is a band from Poland that's comparable to lightweight symphonic power metal bands like Italians Skylark, Landguard, Heraldry, or perhaps Magnalucius from Chile. They have an album 'The trees' from the late-90s, but it was never officially released and only a very limited quantity (on CD-R format) was available. So the band's first official release was their previous CD 'Memory analysis', one that was released through Shark Records and easily available for purchase a few years back. 'Memory analysis' is a nice CD if you're into the mentioned bands, but there aren't any songs that stand out as highlights. Instead, it's some of the musical portions of songs that I enjoy the most.

With their new CD 'Horror show' (released through the unfamiliar Oskar Productions), the band has stuck with the same formula heard on 'Memory analysis'; one that contains tons of keyboards, both speedy and slower songs, fairly high-pitched vocals (courtesy of Doman), and the mentioned comparisons to Skylark, Heraldry and mostly Landguard stand true. Thankfully, 'Horror show' is an improvement over 'Memory analysis' in all departments though. The production is what has stood out the most, and the band has even succeeded at grabbing a stronger sound that a lot of Skylark's material. In addition, the CD contains a few highlights, track 7 "The enchanted place" being the most memorable by a mile. Although there are a lot of interesting layers of keyboards, they aren't overbearing and I also like that there is a high number of very fast songs with guitar solos popping up from time to time.

But despite being better than the previous 'Memory analysis', 'Horror show' is not without flaws and there is definitely room for improvement. Firstly, and simply put, there are too many songs that lack great songwriting and wash over me without grabbing my attention. This is easily noticed as Skylark excels in the songwriting (specifically melody) department and Gutter Sirens just doesn't measure up. Secondly, guest vocalist Marta Woltanska (who has a minor presence on 4 or 5 songs) does not fit the music style at all, as his somewhat raspy and aggressive voice is deterring from the pleasant vibe of the CD. Still, this a solid effort from an improving band and I surely recommend this to those who have and enjoy Skylark, Heraldry and Landguard.




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