The Thalassa Mixes - Review
Here is a short four-track EP built on their latest album Dawn of the New Athens
This disc takes on something of an underwater theme, featuring samples from whale vocals and the overall mood becoming much more subdued. The whole concept and style lends itself more to the ethereal and goth realms though the solid metal foundation remains intact, along with the recognizable symphonic metal style this band has come to be known for.
"Tisza's Child (Sunken Cathedral)" kicks off this work in much the same fashion as the original with the exception of the added underwater whale vocal samples. The percussion is much more medieval sounding with timpane rather than a heavy bass and snare kick, the crashing cymbals are still there along with the grinding metal guitars, though it takes a bit longer to build up to this style than the original. This is truly an excellent, dreamy track from this band and an excellent remix that fans will love. "The Garden I Long For" is unique to this disc and is an excellent addition to this artist's library. It very slowly builds once again through the calls of whales and underwater abyss and is dominated by some beautiful classic acoustic guitar that is absolutely stunning and in their own way become the unspoken vocals for this instrumental piece. "Loon" appears twice to finalize the disc with two different mixes. The "Thalassa" mix is a dreamy, ethereal version of this track with the occasional symphonic brass and strings kicking in once in a while for the occasional accent. The "Swamp" mix is dark and moody, moving slowly along adding first just some subtle instruments, then grinding guitar and subtle bass. All of this builds to the heavier, dark metal sound as it continues to slowly move along, building more and more to a climax for an excellent take on this piece.
It's short, but sweet nonetheless. The structures of these pieces are similar enough to recognize from the originals, but different enough to make it worth picking them up and enjoying to their full potential. This is dark and moody, yet dreamy and ethereal symphonic metal as only Aesma Daeva
Dawn of the New Athens - Review
This album was released in the spring of 2007 and was the first official full-length release in four years.
Many will remember the stunning masterpiece tracks "Downvain" and "Darkness" from their debut album released through Accession Records
in 1999. The Eros of Frigid Beauty
was the previous album which took a very thematic symphony approach with lengthy compositions which were hard to break down and present on the radio or as club tracks, buy some may remember the review here or occasional tracks on the radio shows. This latest album definitely has more hit potential with tracks broken down in length and arrangements such that it's easy to present them on the radio and club scene.
The music on this album is definitely easily recognized as Aesma Daeva
. The heavy metal riffs with grinding guitars and driving drums are heavy and move each piece along for a harsh and driving backdrop to the angelic opera vocals from Lori Lewis. It opens with the masterpiece "Tisza's Child" which quickly became a favorite piece. This anthem starts off with smooth angelic vocals that drift along until the grinding guitars kick in and slowly build along with heavy percussion. This grows into a moving climax to kick off the album and set the tone for what's to come. Other pieces along these lines that fans more into the gothic and ethereal genres will love include some real masterpieces. Another favorite along these lines is the slower and somewhat dreamier piece "Artemis". This features some soaring arrangements that really help to bring out the beauty in this piece, moving away from a lot of the grinding metal guitars, though they still exist, they don't dominate the song structure quite as much though add heavy accents to the music for added volume, body and beauty to it all. And excellent take on what this band can do is with "D'Oreste" which is still along these lines that is a little more gothic because of the symphonic approach, and anyone who enjoys a good opera will love this piece, as that's what it is, solid metal opera! It's really interesting and really fun. "The Camp of Souls" also has a lot of ethereal touches to it that fans will enjoy, in some places the guitars and percussion completely cut out, leaving it a pure ethereal dream.
"The Bluish Shade" is solid, driving heavy metal that fans into this heavier side should really enjoy. The opera vocals continue and take off some of the edge, but there's no question where the foundation of this piece lies. With harsh driving rhythms, "Hymn to the Sun" kicks right in for metal fans to really sink their teeth into. As we get on toward the end of the album, the soaring guitars and heavy percussion on "Ancient Verses" bring out the metal mayhem in full force. The structure of each of these pieces is interesting and captivating for fans of multiple genres. The next piece is a great example of this as a touch of medieval, fantasy, metal and opera all come together on "Since the Machine" with some deep backing vocals for a nice touch.
We wrap it up with something more of an ethereal piece with "The Loon", though heavy percussion and grinding guitars are still present, they remain a little more subtle and mix well with the overall dreamy structure of the piece. With that, the album comes to a close and so does our review. It's a great work, probably their best to date and with that we look forward to more, hopefully not needing to wait another four years.