Porta Obscura

Written by: PP on 01/12/2008 02:13:19

Here's a short gothic music history lesson for you readers. First, the genre was largely underground, consisting of a few bands with mostly deep male vocalist. Then Tarja Turunen and Nightwish came around, demonstrating a band that had both a good sound and a image, something pretty to lock in potential new listeners, and they triumphed the markets with great commercial success. The consequence of this? Hundreds of new gothic metal bands trying to imitate their success in various degrees, some opting for a silky, delicate vocal delivery (see The Gathering), some for the stronger singing-type (see Lacuna Coil), and the rest for a Tarja Turunen-operatic clone. Needless to say, the genre has become extremely saturated, so it's time to think of something new.

In Coronatus' case, the 'new' seems to be adding another female vocalist, so they have two hotties singing instead of one. The voice that we hear for the large majority of the time is that of Ada Flechtner, and she's of the Lacuna Coil/Within Temptation type, in that she's actually got a strong enough voice to suit the music. The other voice, owned by Carmen Schaefer, is classically trained to the point that you wouldn't be surprised to find her singing at the Sydney Opera House as a part of some grand opera/theatre play or something. So how do these two fit together? They don't. Whenever the two are singing at the same time, Carmen's operatic voice drowns everything underneath it annoyingly, including Flechtner's otherwise decent voice. The problem seems to be that she hasn't mastered her voice the way that Tarja Turunen had, instead of adding dramatic flair to the music, she merely comes across as an annoying whiny bitch that nobody wants to listen to. That might sound harsh, but really, try listening to her for several tracks in a row.

Now, you may notice how I haven't talked about the instruments, and there's a reason for that. Coronatus is Ada & Carmen's show, where their very different voices steal the entire spotlight, often making the listener forget about the typical goth-metal chords on the background as the two battle it out. Therefore, my recommendation for Coronatus is to ditch Carmen, and let Ada do the vocal work. Once that's accomplished, there isn't much else that separates these guys and a band like Lacuna Coil (though the latter writes much catchier songs), because right now, the dual-female vocalist thing sounds more like Tarja Turunen guesting on a bunch of Lacuna Coil tracks.


Download: Cast My Spell, Exitus
For the fans of: Nightwish, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation
Listen: Myspace

Release date 28.11.2008
Massacre Records

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