Asrai - Touch In The Dark - 2004 - Transmission Records
1. In Front of Me 2. Pale Light 3. Whisper 4. Restless 5. Touch in the Dark 6. Tower 7. Dream 8. Child 9. Garden 10. Shadows
First off, we must ask ourselves; does the world really need another Lacuna Coil? Isn't one punishment enough for our sins? THAT, dear readers, was my initial impression when the first pop/goth sounds of "Touch In The Dark" assailed my ears. My knee-jerk reaction was to dive for the stereo "power off" button and try to forget I ever heard of Asrai. Well, feeling in an adventurous mood, I decided to give it another try. Bracing up, I reminded myself I once sat through the horrors of a performance by the nu-metal comedy act Disturbed, just to see the band I really wanted to see, so this would be a piece of cake.
The first half of the album opener, "In Front Of Me", starts off a bit too pop oriented and mainstream friendly for my particular tastes. I wasn't overly thrilled with vocalist Margriet Mol's sound on this one either, but at about the halfway mark into the song, things took an unexpected turn. To my surprise, I actually found myself ENJOYING what I was hearing!
Things only picked up from there.
Simmering slabs such as "Dream" and "Child" hold all the dark intrigue of typical goth rock, but allow room for a heavier vibe to seep through. Margriet Mol's performance even garners kudos, as she picked things up well after what I thought was a weak performance in the beginning. Fans of bands like Lacuna Coil will find this a pleasurable experience, and non-fans of LC, such as myself, may even find themselves drawn in.
--Susan Wright 12.26.05
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details