As one of the most recent entries in the oversaturated female-fronted Metal market, today we have Finland’s Shear and their debut full-length release “Breaking the Stillness”. Featuring members and ex-members of bands like Imperanon, Amoral, and Omnium Gatherum among others, this band has enough Melodic Metal pedigree to impress anybody (at least on papers).
The band’s front woman, Alexa Leroux, is of course very attractive and her voice is indeed different to what everybody is used to. Her vocal approach is more in the Hard Rock / Power Metal area, and never goes into the very tired female growls or soprano style. When paired with excellent Melodic Metal, this is actually a great strength for Shear since they manage to sound powerful and somewhat different than all the other female-fronted bands these days.
Opening with some powerful guitars riffs and catchy keyboards, “The Awaking” gave us a bit of a scare since we thought the band was going to turn out to be another shit-factory like Amaranthe. The band’s ability to craft excellent melodic passages around Alexa’s voice is excellent and in this opener track they are not shy about it. Relying on catchy riffs, the band rips through “In Solitude” and “Scorched”, two very effective tracks that keep the listener very engaged. The female vocals are very commanding and on “Scorched” Alexa delivers excellent vocal melodies.
The radio-friendly hits keep piling up with “Someone Else’s Eyes”, “Wounded”, and “Redemption Awaits”, all excellent tracks. It is refreshing to hear a band that can combine excellent melodic Metal music with firm female vocals, allowing them to sound heavy and very melodic at the same time. If you are looking for a song with a ballad edge, “Stillness” will surely please your senses.
If you like futuristic keyboards, both “Crowned by Fools” and “No Way Out” will provide you with a good dosage of them. Said keyboards sound 100 times better when the pulsating bass guitar line and the catchy riffs are guiding them. Closing with the emotional “Be Here Now”, the band nicely rounds up this very dynamic and fresh sounding release.
If you are looking for something that is well crafted, catchy, and very melodic, “Breaking the Stillness” is just what the doctor ordered. This new female-fronted band from Finland has one of the best sounds we have heard in quite a while for the genre, and the fact that they are not overly ‘girly’ or too commercial makes them even more enjoyable.
|Band: Shear||Album: Breaking the Stillness|
|Label: Lifeforce Records||
Release: March 13th, 2012 (USA) / March 26th, 2012 (Europe)
|Genre: Metalodic Metal||