INNER MONSTER OUT
When it comes to traditional metal fronted by women, there's really two bands to pay attention to and a whole litany of bands that want to do this, but are just missing something. The two bands that "get it" fully are Benedictum and Shadowside. While both are different musically and sonically, they both do one thing very much the same. Where most female fronted metal bands these days try to highlight the woman thing over the music (example: Hydrogyn, Nightwish), these two bands really just create metal and do not go out of their way to promote the womanly wiles of their lead singer. It works for both bands, in my eyes.
INNER MONSTER OUT is a very cool album from the Brazilian metallers known as Shadowside. Everything about this album will be pleasing to fans of traditional metal ranging in style from Judas Priest to Black Label Society. Guitarist Rafael Mattos is the standout performer on INNER MONSTER OUT; creating crunchy, crushing riffs on each and every song. Cuts like "Angel With Horns" feature an old school, powerful raw edge feel on guitars that has your head banging right along with this uptempo number. Mattos has a bit of modern sound to his playing, which jumps out occasionally on tracks like "Habitchual", but he's mostly a classic metal player in the strongest sense of the word.
As for vocalist Dani Noldan, she proves once again that you can be a woman in a metal band without trying to sound like a man. Noldan is the lone standout in all of metal that doesn't a. growl to sound like an evil man, or b. provide an ambient, dreary vibe that seems to follow along with the ethereal sounds of a bad keyboard player. Sure, Cristina Scabbia might fit that bill too, but she's basically a part time singer in her band, and her band is transitioning from metal to pop rock these days, so she doesn't count. Songs like "A Smile Upon Death" showcase Noldan (and the band, for that matter) at her very best. The song has a lot of emotion and energy in it, without ever losing the metallic edge to a softer vocal. Simply, Noldan is a premiere singer in this genre...even if most of the world hasn't discovered her yet.
PITRIFF RATING - 94/100 - INNER MONSTER OUT is a terrific effort from a band that should be a whole lot bigger than they are. Cool vocals, terrific guitars and quality metal songwriting are all firmly in place here, which is just great to hear. Excellent stuff.