|Review: Mercury Rain - Dark Waters|
Year released: 2003
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Review online: March 12, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Rated 4/5 (80%) (1 Vote)
It has become increasingly difficult to attain any kind of audacity within the female-fronted metal panorama; even the genuinely intelligent propagators procure nothing but remarkably average status, and this is because musically there is nothing new to say – or so we're led to believe. The Holy Grail is still unclaimed and evidently, Mercury Rain haven't discovered it either.
Whilst the UK isn't exactly falling over itself to dip a ladle in this gravy train, orchestral-tinged gothic metal is emerging in every odd town or so, and for a while it looked like Mercury Rain were going to be ones to expose it internationally. Unfortunately for them, their self-produced debut "Dark Waters" lacked just enough zeal and conviction to garner the public's approbation. Ostensibly well performed and contrived, "Dark Waters" is home to an abundance of sparkling atmospherics, authentically arranged programmed drumming, and some seriously heavy guitar-work. But it just doesn't cut it.
Employing French beauty Sonia Porzier to swan over the album's semi-gothic aural proclamation was a shrewd move, as her lifting vocals are what draws the material's appeal. The music itself has a nebulous quality; but plenty of lamenting synths and subtle progression make up for the dearth in direction and immediacy. All heaped in a neo-power shag pile are flashes of Leave's Eyes, Nightwish, After Forever and even Dimmu Borgir; which when pronounced are rather encouraging. Overall rather one dimensional, there are some stand out tracks; the crushing "Marie Morgane" and power metal tinged "The Chosen One" certainly deserve commendation, as they so aptly make use of dark ambiance this genre bathes in.
We aren't going to set the world ablaze with this one, but at least Mercury Rain tried their best (their follow up isn't exactly storming) but those who have exhausted all outlets of symphonic/gothic metal may find more than I.
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