Mena Brinno - Wicked Polly 3.5/5

Reviewed: 3-27-09


1. Banks of the Ohio
2. Entrapment
3. Wicked Polly
4. Secrets of war
5. Labyrinth
6. Katie Cruel
7. Nightsounds
8. Court me
9. Wildwood flower

Mena Brinno is a fairly new band from the U.S. (Florida), and it wasn't too long ago that they released their debut 'Icy muse'. While it was a CD that took a long time for me to digest, it did end up growing on me and to this day I consider it an enjoyable listen. So 'Wicked Polly' is their 2nd CD and I'm now very glad that I gave the debut some time to sink in, as this CD is even better.

In many ways, Mena Brinno is a unique band, and that's perhaps why it took so long for me to understand 'Icy muse'. For starters, their vocalist (Katy Decker) has an unusual voice that's many times very high-pitched, and her delivery is interesting as well. I personally like her voice, but I know that many metal fans (especially those who don't love female vocals) won't even give her a chance. Comparisons to Katy are tough, but there are some moments where she comes off as being a bit similar to Susanna Vesilahti from Unshine and/or Carmen Elise Espenaes from Midnattsol.

Musically, just like with their debut, we get a nice blend of gothic metal, folk metal and power metal. The band's folk metal side is probably dominant (there are numerous parts that contain the use of a flute) and it's part of what makes them unique, and in my opinion, refreshing. I know there are other female fronted folk metal bands, but in reality, it's still a style that contains very few bands. Putting their folk metal side out of my mind for a moment though, I should mention that the debut seemed to lean more towards gothic metal, and this CD seems to lean more towards power metal.

With the vocals and music wrapped up into one, I'd call Mena Brinno (regarding both of their CDs) a blend of Asynja, Almora, and the previously mentioned Unshine and Midnattsol, but with a hint of Dalriada and Kalevala. These are all bands that I like a lot, so I've welcomed Mena Brinno with open arms. What's great however, is that since this CD is better than the debut, I can now consider the band to be of fairly high quality and definitely competitive with these other bands.

Besides the fact that 'Wicked Polly' is refreshing and better than the debut, it's a CD that contains a good amount of speed and it's not a boring CD. Plus, it hovers around a consistently strong level throughout and I like all of the songs. There are some excellent guitar solos too, and in the end, I don't have anything negative to say. The band's unique style will either work for you or it won't. It's as simple as that. Personally, while I enjoy the debut, I'm enjoying this CD even more, and I'm certain the band is going to continue to improve.




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