Review: Scarleth “Vortex” [Rockshots Records]

Review: Scarleth “Vortex” [Rockshots Records]

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I have a strong connection with Ukrainian metal scene so I heard about Scarleth. I know that the band released two albums and then there were some line-up changes: now the vocalist is hot blonde Ekaterina Kapshuk. Nevertheless, I didn’t listen to them and never see them live so my acquaintance with the band started from their new third album Vortex.

In general, Scarleth is a Modern Metal. Well, usually the bands without some strong bias fall in this category, when it’s hard to define their genre. But further detailed, Power Metal, Modern Metal (if we take Amaranthe as a standart), some Fork and even Oriental Motives can be heard in 11 songs of Vortex. In other words, musically the bands ranges between, let’s say Rage and already mentioned Amaranthe with a small curtsey towards Eluveitie, for example.

The first thing I want to be mentioned is a really great sound. This is a merit of Max Morton from Kyiv Morton Studios, where many Ukrainian (and not only Ukrainian) bands recorded their albums, like Jinjer. The sound is really heavy and solid; with this you can easily hear any instrument.

Yana Kovalskaya’s keyboards dominate in this album: they create an atmosphere, transmit a mood and make Vortex diverse. They can be almost dancing (“Be What You Are”), add some pretentiousness and theatricality (“Final Curtain”) or some Oriental mood (“Passion”). Rhythm-section and guitars are very powerful, taking music to some Power Metal sometimes.

Ekaterina’s vocal is a good mezzo-soprano. It’s not something outstanding, as for me, but also I can’t say something bad. Time to time some male growls appears in songs (“No Return”, “Escape”) and vocalists create a “dialogue”.

Also I can’t just pass by the only song in Ukrainian in an album, “Ostannya Zorya” (“The Last Dawn”). Heavy guitars, folk motives and Ukrainian language create a really good, interesting and memorable song. In my opinion it’s the best song in Vortex.

But generally speaking, the album makes a mixed impression: on one hand it sounds powerful and really perky, on other I can’t get of the thought that a number of musicians got together, shared ideas and released them in an album, giving their best. But the problem is that their ideas were much diversified. Sometimes such mix can work, sometimes not and Vortex is exactly that case when it rather no than yes. Though, I don’t exclude that if I’ll see Scarleth‘s live show, I’ll change my mind like it happened with the new Within Temptation album. However, right now this record, very qualitative and solid, though, is not catchy at all beside a couple of vivid moments.

Vortex will be released on November, 15 via Rockshots Records.

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