Album Reviews
Band: Ardours

Title: Last Place On Earth

Label: Frontiers Music Srl

Ardours are a  name on the Frontiers roster.  They are an alternative gothic metal band featuring lead vocalist Mariangela Demurtas (Tristania), together with multi-instrumentalist and producer Kris Laurent.

Originally formed in 2015, Ardours was the product of Mariangela and Kris's long-standing friendship, from both of their involvements in the Sardinian (Italian) metal scene. In 2006, Mariangela moved from Italy and joined the Norwegian band Tristania, but her and Kris always kept in touch. In late 2015, having always admired one another's musical talents, they decided to join forces the result is the album 'Last Place on Earth'. 

Mariangela wanted Ardours to be a melting pot of different personalities, to add to the unique flavor of the song writing.  She decided to ask to Tristania's drummer/lyricist Tarald Lie to write the lyrics and record the drums for the album.

The mix of these three elements has resulted in a fresh and promising style, making the resulting album a veritable smorgasbord of rock, metal and gothic.

The album opens up on the more metal side of things with 'What Else Is There', a terrific opener to outline what this album and band are all about.  Towering bass and drum lines interwoven with soaring guitars and orchestrations, this instrumental prologue really gets you in the mood for the rest of the album.

As we get a first taste of that gothic metal crossover with the stunning 'Catabolic', with Mariangela unleashing those powerful vocals for the first time.

Things continue with the modern metal edgings of the title track 'Last Place on Earth'.  This one definitely has a more Symphonic Metal feel about it.  Soaring melodies capped with some quit stunning vocals.  If I had to pick out one track that epitomizes Ardours sound, this would be it.

Next up itís a heavier almost Power Metal feel of the massive 'Design'.  This one has a thumping back-beat of power bass and heads-down drums, that carries that heavy vibe throughout, but itís the vocal prowess of Mariangela that really stands out on this one.  Think Liv Christine meets Cristina Scabbia.

That powerful vocal is given full reign on the excellent darker vibes of 'Last Moment', before the haunting mellower tones of 'The Mist' some in.  This one takes that Gothic element to the next level, with a haunting, almost macabre sound with droning bass and drum back-beat.

The album takes a more contemporary Gothic feel with the excellent 'Therefore I Am', complete with a little electro vibe.

One of my favourite tracks has to be the multi-faceted 'Truths'.  This one has more elements than the periodic table.  This one truly takes you a musical magic carpet ride that ebbs and flows, taking in the gothic undertones, intertwined with some soaring guitar work and featuring a terrific closing guitar solo.

With 'No One Is Listening' youíre taken on a heavier roller coaster of a ride.  The album comes to a close with the wonderful 'Totally', which like the title track, optimizes what Ardours bring to the table.  Whether you're into Symphonic Metal, or just like outstanding and powerful female vocals, then 'Last Place on Earth' is the album for you.

Review by: Barry McMinn

 

Tracklisting:

1.  What Else Is There
2.  Catabolic
3.  Last Place On Earth
4.  Design
5.  Last Moment
6.  The Mist
7.  Therefore, I Am
8.  Truths
9.  No One Is Listening
10. Totally 

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