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EM SINFONIA
EM SINFONIA
Intimate Portrait
(Hammerheart Records)
56:10min

Whatever I will write about this twelve track release certainly won't do the band completely justice. It simply ain't a style of music that I embrace too much. EM SINFONIA come up with female lead vocals, (in the vein of THE GATHERING / LACUNA COIL), mixed with a deep grunting male voice and an overall melancholic yet melodic atmosphere, partly kinda close to earlier AMORPHIS or MY DYING BRIDE. Everything's still heavy though and always performed on a quite impressive musical level. The band, which started out as a BROKEN HOPE (!!) side project, quickly gained a lot of attention within their home country America. Their four song demo, which originally was recorded just for fun, ended up being re-issued on mini CD on Martyr Music in 1999 (entitled "In Mourning's Symphony") and sold over 2.300 copies. EM SINFONIA's line-up features BROKEN HOPE's guitar player Brian Griffin (who's also responsible for the growling on here) and on the album there's also a guest appearance of Jason Hellman (can't exactly recall... wasn't he with MORTA SKULD or something?!), who plays bass on the rather unconventionally performed IRON MAIDEN cover 'Revelations'. A great cover art, nice packaging and a really emotional way of writing (incl. keyboards and violins) should easily appeal to fans of this genre. So, all in all not bad at all - it's just that a rarely listen to something like this and if I do, I still prefer the aforementioned "originals"...

Frank Stöver

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