Released by: My Kingdom Music
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Genre: Progressive Metal
Federica Viola – Guitars
Karin Baldanza – Vocals
Fabio Accardo – Bass
Elio Lao – Drums
1 Towards Doom
2 Another Way
3 Behind the Light
6 Whirl’s Creterion
7 Le poison à la mode
8 Undying Diabolyca
9 Pulse of Awakening
Italian band Radiance was formed in 2004 by Federica Viola (guitars). The band started with an all-female line up. Afterwards the band gave up the all-female line up, recruiting other talented musicians, and now the band has only two female members, Federica and singer Karin Baldanza. The debut official EP titled “…And The Night Comes Down” was released at the end of 2008. Four years lately they finally give birth to the their first full length, and signed a deal with My Kingdom Music label. The first album, titled “Undying Diabolyca” has been released on March 2013.
The band performs original Progressive Metal with some avant-garde moments and unusual unique female voice. It is not easy to compare Radiance with other Progressive bands. Of course some influences of Rush and Dream Theater could be noticed but often the music is different from them. It reminds me not very famous American band Archetype, but Italians have less Power Metal moments and more progressive, however I hear some similar rhythmical approaches. The music becomes depressive, strange and mad from time to time and it has slightly psychopathic mood, however it still stays melodic. Overall it is characterized by many music changes and sometimes each instrument plays its own part not connecting with others. Some songs have driven moments with touch of Power Metal.
The sound is not very heavy, many modern Progressive bands now use more powerful and distorted sound. But it is not a flaw but another specific feature of the band.
Keyboards are used rarely and on the background but adds specific atmosphere to the music. Guitar player Federica Viola mostly used complex guitar riffs than plays solos though her occasional soloing is pretty nice and inventive.
But the most interesting and unusual thing here is a vocal of Karin Baldanza. She has a very individual voice and original approach to singing. It could seem that she sometimes sings out of place but I think she sings her own musical line that in some moment disharmonizes with lead parts. In some moments it reminds me of Federica de Boni (White Skull) when she sings with high voice, but Karin never uses rusty vocals. Anyway her voice is emotional and varied, she easily uses opera voices (in “Another Way”) or strange crazy high vocals (like in “Whirl’s Creterion”) or something completely different. I know it could not be accepted by everyone but I like it. She has not become my favorite female singer now but I respect her work – it is really amazing and mad.
Drumming is powerful and technical with many breaks in the best traditions of Neil Peart and Mike Portnoy. Bass parts are complex and attractive.
Almost all tracks are at the same good quality without any fails. “Another Way” contains almost all distinctive trademarks of the band. I could highlight “Behind the Light” which has melancholic beginning, strange ricky-tick rhythm but then it becomes more fast and impressive with varied vocals parts. Another favorite song is “Le poison à la mode” which has heavy but complex riffings, some speed-ups and nice Power Metal moments and awesome solo. The title track “Undying Diabolyca” is also worth mentioning, it is complicated and fast at the beginning, has a bit strange beautiful solo and a completely different pompous middle part, some bass improvisations and a very melodic bright final.
The other tracks have some interesting moments. “Storm” is the more riff-oriented and a little bit straight-forward dynamic song; some nice guitar tapping could be heard here. “Whirl’s Creterion” has bright guitar fingerstyle part and really crazy high vocal moments. 2 instrumentals “Reasonance” and “Pulse of Awakening” are pretty good, both atmospheric and calm, the last has also psychedelic synths parts.
So “Undying Diabolyca” is a very good album. This is not a typical Prog Metal release and could not be accepted by everyone. But it has many interesting and innovative ideas and unique female vocals. And I am sure that open-minded fans of original Progressive Metal could appreciate it.
Written by Egor “EG Power”