ASRAI 'Touch In The Dark' Transmission Records (2004)
Although this Dutch Gothic Metal band have been in existence for over 15
years, this is, in fact, only their second full length release and their
first for Transmission Records, which is building a great reputation for
itself on the back of artists in a similar style, such as After Forever and
The songs are much shorter and less epic sounding than those of their
labelmates, clocking in at around five minutes or less in length, while the
samples that the band use to fill out their sound are more frequently
Industrial/Electro in style. These aspects mean that Asrai's style of Gothic
metal broadly places them in the same ballpark as bands such as Flowing
Tears and Lacuna Coil yet at the same time there is a real punch and
heaviness in the bass and guitar department which matches the power
delivered by Margariet Mol's vocals. No soaring soprano sounds here, just a
straight ahead female rock voice, as you'd get with a Doro or Ann Wilson -
and very good it is too.
While the disk itself opens with ‘In Front of Me', the following tracks soon
blow away the memory of that indifferent start and tracks 3 through to 6 are
all excellent, particularly ‘Restless' and ‘Tower' where Margriet's vocals
really shine. ‘Dream' has a chunky pounding riff and Margriet's vocals once
again grab the attention on ‘Child' and ‘Garden', before the more
stereotypical Gothic Metal of ‘Shadows', featuring lots of great industrial
samples, closes out the disk.
As for the other musicians, Margriet's sister, Karin, is equally impressive
behind the drumkit while Mannon plays keyboards and violin. The 5 piece is
rounded off by two guys, Rik on Guitar and Martin on Bass, who both add
plenty of chunk to the band's sound. The mix, performed by Sacha Paeth is
really well executed, giving the disk good dynamics and allowing each
instrument to be heard crisply.
A quick look at the photo of the band on their website reveal that their
image is as Gothic as the music on this CD. Overall, a very good disk, which
should appeal to old school Goths as well as fans of Lacuna Coil.
Review by Charlie Farrell