Niobeth - The shining harmony of universe 3/5

Reviewed: 6-26-09


1. The whisper of rain
2. Secrets
3. Tell me lord
4. A frightening shiver
5. My silence within
6. Requiem for imogen
7. Dance of tragedy
8. Reflected lights' garden
9. Rhyme for my gone beloved
10. Musician' soul
11. The magic flute (Queen of the night Aria)
12. The awakening

Niobeth is a band from Spain that was formed in 2004, then went through some line-up changes over the course of a few years, and now they bring us their full-length debut 'The shining harmony of universe'. The band is female fronted, by the lovely Itea Benedicto, whose voice is of the operatic type, and she's mostly in the soprano range, but is also in the lower range on occasion. She does a nice job and can be considered solid amongst the many other female vocalists in metal, though I don't think she'll instantly become a fan favorite. Still, she reminds me of Simone Simons from Epica, and may impress a lot of the fans of female fronted bands.

Niobeth can easily be thrown into the symphonic metal genre, though the CD is somewhat dark (as opposed to extremely bouncy/uplifting) and a slight gothic feel is present at times. There are also some flashes of speed and a good portion of the CD wanders into the realms of power metal. In addition, the band has an obvious classical influence and a few additional instruments are used (from what most bands use). For starters, Santi Tejedor (who's mainly the keyboardist) provides some violin and even bagpipe segments, though there isn't an overwhelming amount of these parts. There are also some guest musicians that provide some additional instruments like a flute, but the remaining main members of the band (besides Itea and Santi) are guitarist Jesús Díez and drummer Alberto Trigueros.

For comparisons, think of the large group that contains bands like After Forever, Coronatus, Nightwish, Epica, Visions of Atlantis, Venin Noir, Legenda Aurea, Atargatis and Imperia, though there are certainly many other bands that could be mentioned. For the most part, Niobeth is competitive too, as all of the ingredients are in place. However, even though there are many portions of songs that have nice ideas and are well done, I think the band still has some work to do in bringing everything together better. So it's a matter of the songwriting quality needing to be greater, in my opinion, though with 'The shining harmony of universe' being only their debut, it's easy to call this a good start.

So we have a solid debut from a promising band. I like all of the songs on this CD and consider it to be a consistent CD, but nothing really comes close to blowing me away and I wish it was more memorable. The Mozart cover 'The magic flute (Queen of the night Aria)' should be mentioned though, as it portrays what the band is setting out to accomplish. There aren't any tracks that really stand out to me as favorites, but at the same time, I don't dislike any of the songs, and as previously mentioned, consider it to be a consistent debut. So check this out if you're into female fronted symphonic metal, and watch out for this band in the future, as there's plenty of potential here.




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