Not to be confused
with the homonimous Swedish band, Russian Melissa come back to their
prime label, releasing their third CD after "In Mourning"
for Soyuz and the parenthesis with Matek records with their comeback
This act is currently composed by 5 stable musicians and 3 guests helping
with drums, guitar and violin for an album that appears variegated,
maybe too much to me as for the track list choice. It's probably due
to the fact that they naturally desire to explore new solutions, walk
new paths and not bore listeners but mostly themselves, and I hope not
for business reasons although a song like "Re" would
make me think so, but let's go with order.
The music starts with "So Loud", opened by an airy
intro and slowly turning to a gothic metal anthem; the bass pumps hard,
the male vocals are deep and thick and other male ones back up gently,
while the chorus sees both of them strong fighting each other in a way
Moonspell would feel close to; besides a thrash part the guitars aren't
threatening but they embroider a nice solo and then they slow down till
Decidedly debter to Celtic Frost and above all Obituary is "Trepanation",
rife with superb granitic riffs and a power metal input stolen from
Judas Priest's "Painkiller"; the vocals are raw and
low and only occasionally do they become truly death; some slapped bass
permits us to expect even more original stuff in the following minutes.
Yet it's time for "RE", a composition fully different
from the rest of the contents: a calm arpeggio with soft keyboards in
the background, elegant piano notes, acoustic guitars, unstressed bass
lines; all of this reminds me of bands like Toto, Dakota, Boston and
other Westcoast, Aor, FM/rock, pop bands, especially thanks to the reverberated
and delicate vocals.
Then we jump back to the Death/doom canons with vocals in the vein of
Autopsy with "Two Weeks a Day"; the break is evil as
ever, the solo makes me drool, and then the weird face of Melissa comes
out with some odd riffs preceding the Death metal final onslaught.
"Kill for Me" has a groovy onset, afterwards displays
a destructive death 'n' roll mid-tempo and an original acceleration;
the vocals are angry or effected, there're some acid samples and the
riffs are in wah-wah, jazzy or odd a là early Megadeth; to me
they sound like an orgy between Ravenous, Scatterbrain and Mr. Bungle.
The bass is the protagonist in "Crack", slapped on
soul vocals and a rap/funky metal tissue in the manner of T-Ride but
a little heavier; there're also 2 adequate solos while the main guitarist
keeps on thrashing; in the end the vocals get closer to Beastie Boys
besides the above-mentioned soul/black music refrain. Unusual song for
a metal band even if not original.
Fast and aggressive funky metal are the coordinates of "Inside";
the slapped bass and the raging screams render it an incredible song;
2 as short and mad guitar solos, the adrenalinic drums and the riffs
give a huge push. One of the highlights of the CD that never makes me
tired of relistening to.
More relaxed, "Yes (Call it What You Like)", is based
on soul and pop-effected vocals; the funky metal is more groovy and
danceable here also by the penetrating keyboards; the bass occupies
a prominent position in this song, while the drums prove to be as heavy
and crisp as ever; one more time I remember T-Ride and bands such as
Sweet Lizard Illtet; there're even 3 axe solos here, by the way.
And then it comes the time for "Simple Things", based
on country rock acoustic guitars and an electric violin like "Inside";
it's also an indie rock/metal composition with heavy and more melodic
parts; it never becomes bad and it could be the potential single of
the 5-piece. The funky matrix pops out at the end of the song along
with a quite good arranging; think of Red Hot Chili Peppers jamming
with Naked City and Little Angels and you'll get a vague idea what this
track is like. In the 80's it might've been a success.
The closure "Landing" is an instrumental made with
psychedelic and symphonic keyboards; the bass lies a bit in the background
in the mixing of this song as it's necessary; this song gives me the
thrills and is the transposition of the sounds you might live during
an astral trip, if you know what I mean.
"Living in a Daymare" is no typical record and is indeed
rather dispersive yet funny. You'd better give a listen before buying
it and you should avoid like a plague if you belong to the category
of true metalheads.
The cover is sly and may lead you astray; this is not only a Death metal
album and there is not only that, so if you live for Death or extreme
metal, you ought to buy Melissa's first record and forget this weird
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 12/7/04