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Marenne - The past prelude 4/5

Reviewed: 9-18-09


1. The stone
2. Cold mornings
3. Frozen tears
4. I wished (Who can tell me)
5. My time
6. Dream
7. Slow your steps
8. Under my hand
9. Do you think of me
10. Land of misery

Out of Finland comes a hot new debut 'The past prelude' from Marenne, which is not only the name of the band, it's also the name of the female vocalist. Formed just 2 years ago (2007), the band is made up of very experienced musicians. For starters, guitarist Zachary Hietala was the creator of the long-running band Tarot, and he's been a part of numerous other bands as well. Zachary is also the brother of Marco Hietala (Tarot, Nightwish, Delain, etc.), who actually provides some backing vocals on this CD. Keyboardist Janne Tolsa is also part of Tarot, so we've really got a circle of friends here surrounding Marenne.

Because the band is full of experienced musicians, this does not sound like a debut at all, and instead is something you'd expect from a band that has been around for several years. The production is polished, the songwriting is excellent (the songs are catchy and memorable), and the band is truly without a weakness. The CD's style is pleasant melodic metal, and it's lightly symphonic, but it's more atmospheric than symphonic throughout its majority. It's not a very dark CD, but there are some rhythms and tempos that are similar to what we usually get from standard gothic metal.

As for Marenne, she has a wonderful voice that's soft and angelic, and she's probably most comparable to Sabine of Edenbridge. For those who are into vocals of this kind, you will totally dig Marenne's outstanding performance, and I'm personally happy that she's joined a metal band, as I've learned she also has experience with children's music. Since I have 2 young girls, maybe I should track down some of her stuff. Yep, she's that good.

Because the band's style is melodic metal with slight atmospheric/symphonic/gothic elements, I'm reminded of a wide range of comparable bands. Firstly, I hear similarities to Edenbridge, Amazon, Enter Twilight, Skyward and maybe even Elis, Midnattsol, Leaves' Eyes and Angtoria, but I also hear similarities to bands like Within Temptation, Xandria, Katra, Sengir, Eli, Delain and so on. So basically, if you're into female fronted metal, this could easily be one of the better CDs you'll hear this year.

All of the songs on this debut are at least very good and most are excellent, with a few of them stepping a bit beyond that level. Most of the songs are upbeat, the slow closer "Land of misery" is really nice, and the CD as a whole is smooth and thoroughly enjoyable. So check this out right away and let's hope this is the start of another high quality female fronted band for us to follow.




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