Soundchecks Music Reviews
review by Octavio Ramos Jr
Building upon the poppy sound crafted by the likes of Lacuna Coil, recent Theatre Of Tragedy, and Evanescence, Naio Ssaion makes its international debut with Out Loud, which has the band recording lyrics in English for the first time. The Slovenian outfit has been carving out a niche in places such as Russia and Austria, but Out Loud has the catchiness to ensure the band a place in the international scene.
Mixing traditional and folk melodies with various facets of rock 'n' roll - gothic (darkwave in particular), dance, and even industrial - Naio Ssaion creates catchy, melody driven tunes sure to impress the rave crowd. Fortunately, there's also a darkness that permeates each track, particularly in the guitar riffs, that will keep goths interested. And then there are the violin acrobatics of Rok, who takes a riff from the likes of The Sins Of Thy Beloved and crafts his own signature sound. Keeping the beauty in check is the luscious Barbara, whose vocals sidestep the usual operatic croons or harsh screams and instead focus on effective delivery and pop sensibility. The end result is music sure to appeal to a cross-section of genre enthusiasts.
What makes naio ssaion interesting to me is the mixing of traditional folk and classical structures with modern sensibilities. Although many bands have tried to mix these two styles, Naio Ssaion has created extremely effective blends, so much so that the two styles always complement each other. It's surprising to hear the craftsmanship on each tune, particularly when the folk elements are given the modern treatment. Very impressive.
It would be easy to mistake Naio Ssaion as just another pop metal act. What this band has accomplished is incredible: its secret weapons lie in the eclectic use of the violin, Barbara's varied and effective vocals, and the band's ability to blend folk sensibilities with hard-driving, gothic inspired dance music. You think you may have heard this approach before, but trust me, you haven't. Open those ears and expect to be moved.
for PIGASUS Press