|Review: Sarah Jezebel Deva - A Sign of Sublime|
|A Sign of Sublime|
Label: Candlelight Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Gothic Metal
Review online: July 28, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
for:A Sign of Sublime
I don't remember the last time I rolled my eyes as much as I did upon my first listen to Sarah Jezebel Deva's debut album, A Sign of Sublime, whose title is almost as pretentious as the performer's obnoxious pseudonym. Despite the juvenile image, Ms. Deva is an accomplished and prolific vocalist, who's done backing vocals for many well known and respected metal acts, from Therion to The Gathering, and even with Cradle of Filth. Backing her up are session players Dave Pybus and Martin Powell, also from CoF fame. The music on this album can easily be described as "gothic," which is no surprise, but such a term would be misleading. While the title of "gothic metal" is surely the closest fit for the project, the guitars do get heavy and occasionally riffy. However, these moments are sparse, and much of the album focuses on Sarah's mediocre voice. Like many solo efforts, the singer is the focus, and sadly, Sarah Jezebel Deva's does not have the range or passion required for such an album.
This album ranges from deep and engaging to tepid, and at times, very annoying. While the backing band sometimes goes into downtuned, riffs that open or close songs, each track revolves around Deva, and this is the main problem. Her cooing voice is constrainingly limited, causing the songs to remain stagnant and emotionless. Her voice strives to achieve elegance and a "haunting" quality, but fails to do so. Much of the album is left dangling limp, unable to convey much of its intended emotion. Deva has made a career as a secondary vocalist in many bands, and that's just where she should stay. Her limited range fits well in such a role. Putting herself into the spotlight was simply a misstep.
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