|Review: Streben - Wild Enchanted Gardens|
|Wild Enchanted Gardens|
Label: Naturmacht Productions
Year released: 2010
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: September 22, 2010
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
for:Wild Enchanted Gardens
Rated 3/5 (60%) (10 Votes)
Streben supposedly means "the anxiety derived from trying to break reality's bonds", and if by that they were thinking their debut, Wild Enchanted Gardens, was going to be a big success, then they should be holding onto their seats with some fervor indeed. Actually, the Italian duo has already split up, so it's almost pointless pausing to ponder over this, an unkempt collection of whimsical and fey Melodic Black Metal. But as it happens it's not too bad, so indulge me while I tell you about it.
Mostly performed by frontwoman Cristina Hagalaz (who is very pretty, by the way), Wild Enchanted Gardens mixes long, drawn-out tremolo riffs, soft, swirling synths, and high-pitched yelps which, at times, sound like a mix of Ihsahn and Dani Filth (the horror!). Actually, when she gets in the zone, Cristina is a very capable Black Metal vocalist, and as she handles keyboard duties as well, she has the ability to create rather stirring and emotional soundscapes. Quiet moments of acoustic guitars and sorrowful woodwind give the album folky, almost gothic overtones, and on the whole, the music is downbeat, despite its melodic leanings. The drums however, are terribly out of time, making the whole thing a little uncomfortable. In fact, after opener "Embrace Of Nostalgia" (with its strange intro, including laughing children, babbling brooks and church bells), it takes a lot to sit through, so discomforting is the amateur performance behind the drum stool.
Production is airy and light, but the percussion spoils whatever beauty might have been captured here. And so ends the tale of Streben, which is a shame because I'd certainly like to see Cristina in other capacities (though not necessarily musical).
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