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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Charetta

Defying the Inevitable

Review by Gary Hill

The whole concept of a female driven heavy rock band has become a bit of a cliché in recent years. It’s just plain overdone. Well, this group seems to avoid sounding like everyone else. That’s at least partly because the arrangements aren’t polished to the point of seeming artificial and partly because for the most part they avoid the trappings of epic metal. In many ways this is closer to old school groups like L7 and more extreme versions like Otep. Comparisons to both the Runaways and Warlock are also warranted at points. Whoever you stand this up against, though, it is a strong disc and rather unique. It is also an album that exercises restraint in terms of not falling into the more is always better trap. They get in and get out in less than forty minutes.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
You Prevail
We're brought into a hard rocking sound that's not far removed from Warlock right at the start. There are definitely hints of epic metal on the soaring choruses. This powerhouse is a great way to start things in style.
Love Your Lies
This one’s even heavier and more ferocious than the previous one. It reminds me just a little of Otep at times, but with more of a modern epic metal feeling to it in a way. Somehow I’m also reminded of Queensryche a bit on this.
Too Far In
The musical modes here are more like modern metal. There’s a bit of a world music vibe to it at times, though. This is a cool cut and a piece of variety. I’d consider it more mainstream than the first couple pieces and not as effective. 
Stop the Cycle
In many ways this piece is a bit too much like the one that preceded it. Still, it focuses more on the melodic side of things, coming across like a metal ballad and is a better number than “Too Far In.” It’s definitely nu-metal, but it’s also very strong. 
So Convincing
It would be easy to sum this up by saying that it’s much like the previous song, a powered up yet melodic ballad type piece. That doesn’t really do it justice, though. This might well be the best cut on show here and it’s one of the most dynamic. It seems to have equal rootings in modern and classic heavy metal. It does resemble the last couple numbers in terms of category, but it far exceeds them in terms of delivery.
On the Line
Again, the cut is set in modern metal territory but this one has more of that European epic metal sound. It’s a strong tune and despite the fact that in terms of musical styles this doesn’t differ a lot we’re in no danger of feeling any sense of uniformity here. 
Runs in the Blood
The riff that drives this one reminds me of vintage Zeppelin and Sabbath, but also of Clutch. It’s another killer tune on a disc that is in no way hurting for a shortage of them. 
The Truth Is Out
One of the heaviest sounds of the album opens this, but it drops back to a very mellow and stripped back motif for the verse. This is another that reminds me a little of Otep, but with some epic metal thrown into the mix. I also make out some Queensryche here.
Never
The most purely balladic cut on show, this reminds me a lot L7 – anyone remember them? It’s a good tune, but I’m not sure it’s the most effective way to end the set.
 
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