Darkyra - Dragon Tears (Own Label)

Nice entry to the world of female-fronted gothic rock..
Release Date: 
20 Feb 2014 (All day)

Female-fronted gothic rock. No, no, come back! For if that phrase causes a knee-jerk ‘run to the hills’ reaction in your brain, there’s a chance you’ll be missing out on some rather nice audio treats; For Darkyra, the semi-eponymous vehicle for chanteuse Darkyra Black, are rather more than your usual Nightwish/Within Temptation tribute act, and in Dragon Tears they’ve created an album rather more interesting than the usual cookie-cutter moronic Byronic dribble with which the genrte has become saturated over the last few years…

Dragon Tears is a concept album about the life of a Japanese Geisha girl, and opens with the sumptuous Madoka’s Lament, which is an astonishingly alluring piece of music that really wouldn’t be out of place in a production like Miss Saigon; evocative and effective, it sets the scene well and introduces Ms Black as a vocalist of some talent. Once you’ve heard this track, you want to hear more.

Luckily the concept never gets in the way of the actual music, and you can take or leave as much of the storyline as you wish without the album suffering as a listening experience. The likes of Madoka’s Lament and especially Never Know are strong enough songs in their own right to stand alone whatever’s going on in the libretto, with some fine playing, especially from lead guitarist Betovani Dinelli in the latter.

Black’s voice is never less than interesting, and often compelling, though her use of vibrato sometimes grates on the ear a little; That’s a small criticism however when there is so much here to enjoy, and despite this being more or less a solo vehicle for her she never succumbs to the temptation of letting the voice drown out the other components of the song. This is very much a team performance and props must go in particular to producer George Boussounis, who draws the strands together masterfully and gives the album a real first division sheen and lustre – this is a world class production, make no mistake.

So, where to from here in a horribly over-saturated market?  There’s certainly a bit of mileage in this project, especially if the unit that recorded this can stay together. The seeds have been sown, and with a bit of luck and a lot of hard work I think we’ll be hearing a lot more of the divine Ms. Black in the future…