To be honest, I haven’t heard about many metal bands from Ukraine at all. So I expected nothing really specific when I checked out SCARLETH – a band from Kiev formed in 2005. First thing I noticed: the sound itself reminds me of several bands form Finland, especially earlier Nightwish (not the vocals), Sonata Arctica & early Children of Bodom regarding the keyboard sound. But if I had to describe SCARLETH in one sentence, I’d say they are a female-fronted, younger version of Stratovarius.
The second track, at the latest, proves that SCARLETH’ sound goes into that direction. ‘Double Memory’ starts with a keyboard part that could have been written & played by Jens Johansson. So the keyboard is the band’s biggest strength but also the weakest part: There is simply too much of it on “The Silver Lining”. Yes, there are also good guitar riffs, but a moment later, there is that keyboard again. I like keyboards but only if it’s not too dominant regarding the guitars.
But enough said about the keyboard. Vocalist Oksana Element sings pop/rock style with a lower voice, but she shows her abilities in ‘The gates of the dark sun’. I’d compare her voice & vocal style with Lacuna Coil’s Cristina Scabbia first of all, especially in that song – maybe also Anette Olzon. It’s a slow & heavy track of eight minutes with oriental influences. The follow-up track ‘Voices’ is a big contrast regarding the speed. And there is this Stratovarius sound again.
On “The Silver Lining”, SCARLETH play with the sound of bands that obviously influenced them & combine them which is really interesting to listen to. What I miss – not a surprise regarding this fact – is a unique characteristic in their music. I like the music & Oksana Element taps her voice’s full potential. There also is a common theme in the band’s sound. Only that single detail is missing that makes it unique.
Nevertheless, “The Silver Lining” is a good album from a band that found the basis for it’s sound. If they find that little detail making their music outstanding, SCARLETH can become a great band. There is ability, there is passion, there is creativity. Now take the last step!
01. Night of lies
02. Double Memory
03. The gates of the dark sun
05. Dying alone
06. One short life
07. Before the night falls
08. Pure desire
09. Last hope