We all know that Sweden knows how to breed musicians, and St. Aria is no exception to the rule, giving us a really cool compilation of songs in their We Claim This Aria EP. As soon as I pressed play, “Running” greeted me with a beautiful piano chord punctuated by a steady drum and vocals that sound like the genius baby of punk, black metal and pop. I was half expecting a growl of some sort, especially with how grainy the vocalist’s voice is.
The next portion of the album takes a dramatic turn to the ethereal as each song becomes much softer and more delicate. I was actually really surprised by this change (but that’s why you’re not supposed to assume things) but I loved it nonetheless. One could play “Her Song,” “By your side” and “Until life parts us” to a love interest, and she would absolutely be floored. All three are incredibly sweet songs and actually fit rather well in the scheme of the album even if I didn’t expect them.
“Another Symphony” blew me away. The sweetness from the love songs remained, but there was a bit of edge and more complexity here than in the preceding songs. I especially enjoyed hearing the return of the harsh male vocals juxtaposed with the serenely sweet, almost angelic female vocals; it sounded so right for this band and for the sound they’ve created.
The surprises of the album were not done, however. “Fly away” has a definite 80’s rock feel, eschewing all the sweetness for a much rougher sound. I like how the rapped verse mixes with the sung chorus and all plays nicely over that rocking melody to combine a lot of different influences all into one really good package. I also hear some sort of ethnic sound in the background fueling the melody, though I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. This is exactly what Limp Bizkit SHOULD have done, but didn’t quite pull off, in mixing rap, rock and metal. Awesome job on this one!
With such a broad spectrum of sounds, St. Aria has done a fantastic job of creating an interesting and thoroughly intriguing album filled with surprises and great moments that will make you stop and rewind. The variety of instruments and vocals also played a large part in making this album so much fun to listen to – and of course the piano was very well played and was well deserving of its front stage position in the music. Don’t be nervous; give this a listen! It was a great time.
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