1. Gaia 2. Waiting Is 3. That Thou Art Mindful of Him
Wow, I'm having a lot more respect for Broward County, Florida these days. Sure, things went hideously wrong down there in the 2000 election, but they are they home to Gaia, who released one of the better demos I've heard this year.
Gaia is whole heartedly a progressive metal band who is most definitely inspired by Dream Theater, but they add-in a healthy doses Opeth in there as well. The musicians in this band definitely have the chops to play this style of metal. They add in the occasional unique time signatures, some bitchin` bass playing, cool mellow parts in odd places, and most importantly: they keep the music intense (listen to their song "Waiting Is" and you'll see what I mean). Normally this isn't enough to impress me much, because a lot of bands have this sort of style. But what makes them stand out from the faceless hordes of other prog metal bands is the delicate delivery from vocalist/guitarist Dominique Garro. With her very soft sounding vocals, it brings a different face to the music that is raging behind her.
However talent alone cannot carry this demo, because I think there are some improvements that could be done. What really hurts this demo is the production, the guitar tone is grainy and thin, plus the drums (which sound like they are electronic) as well as the vocals completely overpower the mix, which really hurts my enjoyment of this release. Also, I think Dominique needs to mix-up her vocal delivery a little bit. She has a good voice, but she needs to learn to belt it out a little more and add a more emotion into her vocals. However, other than these few small issues, I think this band has one hell of a future ahead of them.
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