Symphonic Metal is a personal favourite sub-genre of mine. I love the idea that two opposing music genres can come together to create something so beautiful and majestic. The latest one to hit my radar are Melbourne based VICTORIA K. They are due to release their debut album Essentia and judging from the strong sounds, it’s safe to say the future of this sub-genre is in safe hands.
The album kicks off with Freedom Unchartered. It doesn’t beat around the bush; it dives straight to the point. This gives you a first taste of what to expect. First impressions? WITHIN TEMPTATION come to mind; this is due to Victoria’s angelic vocals against heavy, distorted riffs and thunderous beats. The only difference here is Sheri Vengeance’s guttural vocal work that provides great impact. The contrast between these growls and siren like vocals works well here.
The thing about an opening track on an album is that it either grabs you with a mighty force or it entices you in gently, enough to pique your curiosity. Either way it encourages you to find out more about what’s in store therefore naturally you end up listening to the rest of the album. For the case of Essentia, it’s definitely the latter and I was very glad I stayed for the rest of the record. Throughout this stunning album, I came across an array of intriguing tracks . Below are just a few examples of what this striking album has to offer.
Matrix shows the vocal work at it’s best. You find out that Victoria does a great job hitting the really high notes during the chorus, Sharon Den Adel comes to mind when I hear the vocals here. Sheri’s growls actually made my jaw drop, I was heavily reminded of a demon ready to cause destruction and pandemonium. Both vocal styles work incredibly well together in this track, these two talented are an unstoppable force.
The track Shroud Of Solitude really got to me. First off, the title is relevant for these times we are living in now. Particularly for those who live alone or feel alone even when surrounded by others. Victoria’s gentle vocal work provides some comfort and reassurance. The beautiful symphonic melodies and haunting piano reinforce these feelings. Michalina Malisz’s tunes on the hurdy gurdy provided a lovely touch to this stunning track.
Mist Filled Sky actually stopped me in my tracks. The track balances grand, bombastic arrangements and soft, beautiful melodies extremely well. In this track, it is hard to pinpoint who they sound like. This track also gives us a great showcasing of Julia Mammone’s slick guitar work, I ought to mention she performs a brilliantly finger-blistering solo at some point before the last chorus of the track.
The album ends on a triumphant note with the song Lacuna, the band keep up the consistent strength in their sound until the very end of the record.
“‘Essentia’ is Latin for Essence. Essence is the indispensable quality of something that determines its very nature or character.” This quote about the album comes Victoria. Essentia does well to capture and represent essence through striking melodies that will stay with you. It is a Symphonic Metal gem that will please long time fans and entice new listeners.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
Essentia will be released this Friday via Rockshots Records.
Find VICTORIA K on Facebook.