Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Universe217 - Change

By Kevin Page. Change. Always a touchy subject when it comes to metal bands and its fans. On one hand, not everyone wants to hear (and buy) the same album over and over, nor do musicians feel like infinitely repeating themselves.
By Kevin Page.


Change. Always a touchy subject when it comes to metal bands and its fans. On one hand, not everyone wants to hear (and buy) the same album over and over, nor do musicians feel like infinitely repeating themselves. On the other hand, you don't want a band you love and adore to make a sudden left turn and sound totally different (since there's a reason you connected with their music in the first place). So what does Greece's Universe217 have in store for us this time around on their 4th full length album?

Photos © s.alt. All rights reserved.

Change. In the way that you want a band to change: better songwriting, better production, new ideas, the feeling of a cohesion between its members. Yet staying true to what they are and what they sound like. Plenty of bands over the years in all genres of music have done it the right way: Alice in Chains, (early) Morbid Angel, Led Zeppelin. It certainly doesn't seem like a hard concept to execute, yet fewer and fewer bands seem to do it.

While I myself never subscribed to the theory that lead vocalist, Tanya, carried the band, I could understand the sentiment. Seriously, she is in a class all her own. No one else sounds like her and few have the power and emotion she pours forth. If you read my reviews of their prior EP (Ease) and full length (Never), I described her voice as a more metal and less raspy Janis Joplin with the power of an Ann Wilson (Heart). Musically though, this album showcases a band on equal footing and no longer does the music take a backseat to the soaring and emotionally driven vocals. There's a sonic immediacy to it, with a richer, fuller sound and with more textures to it than prior releases.

Photos © s.alt. All rights reserved.

Change. Is a band growing together, maintaining their established vision, yet adding elements to keep things fresh and interesting. I've deliberately avoided talking about anything specific in regards to the genre this falls into. The band doesn't like to be sliced and diced and put into a box. Let's just say it's heavy music and you should give it a listen.


Tagged with 2016, experimental doom metal, Kevin Page, Universe217, Ván Records
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