'When Autumn Dies'
Release Date: 18/04/14
If you need any reminding of how Metal is a global phenomenon these days then you need look no further than Blodwen.
They are a female fronted symphonic Metal band influenced by the usual genre suspects in Finland's Nightwish and Holland's Within Temptation. Their name is Welsh for mountain white flower and they hail from Indonesia!
'When Autumn Ends' is an EP released in Asia in 2013 after some major line up changes and now being given world wide availability in preparation for their forthcoming second full length album.
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Blodwen may be Indonesian but they have bought completely into the Celtic and norse influences of their main influences and this album sounds like another European female fronted symphonic Metal band with no eastern flavour to it at all.
'Eye Of The Storm' starts with a meaty Metal blast before slowing down a little for the operatic style vocals of singer Bernice Nikki. The singer's style is always important in this genre and the vocals here have a sub-operatic feel, a sort of cross between Tarja Turenenand and Liv Kristine of Leaves' Eyes. They work reasonably well in a song which doesn't blow you away but shows some promise.
'Hampa Dunia' is the album's sole nod to the band's background as it is sung in Indonesian and not surprisingly is the most natural sounding song here. It has a nice line in mixing vocal harmonies and twin lead guitar lines with frantic double bass drum work and while it does sound a little underpowered for full on metal it's pretty enjoyable.
'Blue Romance' goes back to English and is the album's epic ballad, featuring atmospheric keyboards, strings and soaring soprano vocals. It is the kind of overwrought, melancholy tear jerker that so many bands in this genre love and it's very well executed but does seem to go on a bit and six minutes plus is too much tear jerking on this occasion.
'Once Upon A Time' is just a little sound effects and keyboards intro to final track 'Riverfall' which ends the album on a galloping rhythym and celtic sounding feel coming over as a little bit disjointed despite some nice musical touches here and there.
Verdict: Given their background I think Blodwen have missed a trick by not attempting to include some of their local influences into their sound. They have bought so heavily into the European take on female fronted symphonic Metal that they sound like dozens of other bands who actually are European.
'When Autumn Ends' is competent and often enjoyable but they are in danger of drowning in an ocean of similar sounding bands and need to find more identity to make them stand out.
Bernice Nikki: Vocals
Alexander Lexy: Guitars
Bayu Djody Gondokusumo: Bass
Nkolas Praditya: Drums