Distributor/label: Sliptrick Records
Distributor/label URL: https://sliptrickrecords.com
Buy Album [URL]: http://amzn.to/2wK0B1h
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/ScarsOfTearsBand/
Petros Nikilaou – Guitars
Salagiannis Thanasis – Bass
Chris Polizos – Drums
Charitinini Anastasiadou – Vocals
Babis Stefanidis – Vocals & Guitars
01. Just Dust
2. Darkest Hour
6. Love and Soul
8. Here and Now
9. Need to Fight
10. We Are The Same
11. Endless Sky
12. Ashes Of A Draw
Formed in 2010, Scars of Tears are a Symphonic Metal band hailing from Kastoria, Greece. Combining the use of female vocals with the gruff male vocals, in classic Beauty and the Beast style, they are melodic yet heavy. ‘Just Dust’ is album number two, following on from their eponymous album in 2014, and their first release for Sliptrick Records.
Opening with the gripping ‘Just Dust’, the band’s sound is clearly defined from the dramatic build up to the deep growl, Babis’s vocals go very deep and low, in contrast to Charitinini who is much higher in the register, though I wouldn’t describe her as a soprano, simply as her voice is more rocky than operatic, cuts through in the chorus to emphasis the melodic nature of the band. Babis’s vocal ability is better showcased on ‘Darkest Hour’, here he expands his repertoire from the growl to a clean sound, proving he has a lot more to offer, Charitinini takes more of the lead, and the mix is enticing. ‘Infeasible’ has a pop, eurovision entry feel to it, including synths and a funky beat, the drums sound more programmed than authentic and it seems out of place from the previous tracks, but still entertaining in a cheesy way. A song in the dungeons and dragons realms rather than about a metal band, ‘Slayer’ has a great energy and vibe, its actually about having power and control, pompous keyboards give the song a grandeur and the heavy riffs punctuate the melody.
‘Icefall’ has a real groove, the growls are threatening and it has a pace that drives it, the song changes up and down throughout, which creates interest and fluidity. Changing tempo and style, ‘Love and Soul’ is a haunting and emotional love song, Babis takes the lead and adopts a seductive clean vocal style, while Charitinini provides background vocals to lift the chorus. This song has a lovely quality, keyboards are the main instrument, while guitars fill the background with soundscapes. Back to a pop-rock style again, ‘Wait’ is very 80’s, a singalong chorus and synths that would not be out of place in a Howard Jones song, it will certainly take you back to a different decade.
The keyboards are very distinctive on ‘Here and Now’, for a song about the present it is not very contemporary, a powerful rock vocal along the lines of 80’s Benatar. Contrasting the 80’s styling with current growls and doom laden riffs, ‘Need to Fight’ canters along at speed, promising to be a great live song. A song that channels the inner Depeche Mode, ‘We Are The Same’ has a darkness that oozes out of its hypnotic rhythm, and a strangeness that compels you to listen again. ‘Endless Sky’ is a Gothic showcase, atmospheric and punchy, with plenty of ups & downs, as it twists and turns, sometimes fast and sometimes slow, it builds to a strong climax. The album is concluded by ‘Ashes Of A Draw’, a power-metal opus, with a melancholy undercurrent and a very sweet vocal performance from Charitinini, with a hint of desperation and hopelessness, bringing the album to a sudden and brutal stop at the end.
This is an album that grows on you, at first listen you won’t be sure but by fourth hearing it will start to connect with your soul and before you know where you are you will have fallen in love with the band. So persevere, you will be glad you did. It’s not perfect, there are better bands out there of this genre but it still has a charm and enjoy-ability that is not to be dismissed. It is a little dated at times, but that just makes it nostalgic, the band crosses over many musical boundaries and there is a rich texture and variety within the songs.