MERCURY RAIN ‘St.Matthieu’ (2004)
This is Mercury Rain’s second full album and again it is all
self-produced and financed in a very stylish CD booklet plus you get a bonus
DVD featuring live tracks and a promo video.
The overall packaging would put many labels to shame! Since their debut release they have toured with
amongst other Power Quest, Intense and last year’s Bloodstock bill. The
music lives up to the lavish packaging as well being an album full of
crunching metal riffs topped off by the vocals of Sonia Porzier, who reminds
me of Dead Can Dance’s female vocalist. In fact ‘Tales From Beyond’ could
easily be a Dead Can Dance number with its gothic atmosphere and haunting
vocals (sung in French).
‘Sanctuary’ you could see as a live staple in years
to come due to its hook laden riff and strong melody. ‘Shadow’s Scent’ again
creates a dark atmosphere with guitars and a tight rhythm section keeping
the song moving along nicely. One slight quibble would be the use of perhaps
more keyboards to fill the sound out overall, although ‘The Messenger’ and
‘Tales’ both use keys to great effect. Lyrically the songs mange to avoid
clichés often associated with goth/dark music.
Sadly since the recording of this album the drummer and co-founder Andy
Pester has left the band. Another strong metal album coming out of the UK
and well worth seeking out.
Review by Jason Ritchie
***** Out of this world | **** Pretty
damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly