Victorians - Aristocrats’ Symphony are a Polish quartet whose members hiding themselves behind mysterious nicknames like V (bass, programming, orchestrations), Eydis (vocals), Utis (guitars) and Mr Nice (percussion, programmer). The music on their debut album Revival is a blend of gothic rock and heavily orchestrated progressive rock fronted by a female vocalist. This musical path is more or less already paved by illustrious bands like Nightwish, Within Temptation and Epica.
While listening to the ten songs on Revival, the resemblance with Nightwish comes closest. Opener Descent Of Your Destiny, but also Siren and Prince Of Night are good examples of the common style these two bands have. However, female vocalist Eydis has a much better English pronunciation than the former Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen, but with regard to the operatic style passages the classically trained Finnish vocalist is better. Throughout the album the two singers meet somewhere in the middle. Where Nightwish have a strong and intense guitar sound, the sound of Victorians is more orchestrated and lacks the excellent guitar work which makes Nightwish stand out in the genre.
The song Who Never Loved tends toward the music of Within Temptation with touches of Lacuna Coil and even Anneke van Giersbergen, the former singer of the Dutch band The Gathering. In this piece the guitar dominates the heavy orchestrations and also Eydis' singing has a different approach. This makes this song one of my personal highlights immediately followed by the beautiful song In The End (Love Me Now). This really is a catchy song having the potential to get airplay, although in a way I keep thinking that it's a sort of remake of a song by Nightwish. The last two songs are very interesting as well. Juliet's Tale has an easy start, but it quickly changes into a passionate, heavy and power metal related composition, though I still think the guitars could have been played more distinguished. This piece ends with a fade out, which in my opinion is a bit misplaced here. The closing song Creed has the same powerful intensity as the previous one, but again the fade out doesn't do justice to this nice composition.
Victorians made an album that perfectly fits in the line of the albums released by the aforementioned bands and I think it's only a matter of time that the band will knock on the door of these groups to claim their place in the gothic rock scene. Revival is a promising first step, anyway.
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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