Power of Metal.dk Review

Style: Symphonic/Progressive Metal
Release date: 24 March, 2014
Playing time: 54:06

Finland seems to produce metal band with female singers like Jamaica produce track and field sprinters. Shear is a rather new acquaintance for me and differs from the regular so-called Scandinavian melodic metal. They play more in the modern, aggressive style with quick, sharp guitar riffs and technical, semi-progressive drumming, but are nevertheless very much melodious and symphonic. It sounds pretty exciting with the delightful voice of Alexa Leroux.

With magnificent and powerful strokes are pushing the sextet through the great tracklist, I'm astonished and taken in by the mature sound environment. Classic rock tones and big brushstrokes of modern metal with a fanciful Finnish folk musical touch. Shear released their debut EP in 2009 and in 2012 the debut full-length album 'Breaking the Stillness' was released. I've got big problems putting Shear in a specific metal genre, because they travel across many styles. They have created a dense and solid metallic piece of art, where they have taken the whole hog and broken new ground, creating a sphere of their own in the tough music industry. I'll be honest, I like this very much. There's imagination, great technical talent, melodic and appealing rhythms, proud attitude, brilliant lyrics and a wonderful singer who stands at the front and lightens my world up.

The first real song 'Last Warning' is a kick ass track and it is a heavy progressive metal song with powerful vocals from Alexa. She sings with assertiveness and authority, no modesty or girl romanticism here. In 'Home', the guitar loops are very strong and tasty and the proud Finnish metal heritage is evident. Dazzling melodies and wonderful blend of hard, sharp guitars and female vocals providing connections to Nightwish's sound. Shear plays in a more modern metal style as in the best track on the album 'Heaven Into Hell', with diverse tempi and mix softer parts with harsh metal anvils!! The radio friendly 'Hollow, Black & Cold' is a song in Amaranthe vein, very melodic and has toned down the darker side. 'I Care' is a symphonic ballad with big black, dark brushstrokes.

The melancholic monster track 'A Hopeless Tragedy' is owned by Alexa's wide and magnificent vocal abilities and Lari's keyboard is a very important element in this nice metal song. Next big track is the epic progressive song 'Whispers Follow You' with Dream Theater taste and this is also one of my personal favourites on 'Katharsis'. 'For the Restless' is a melodic/symphonic metal song with big emotions and the transition to the next track was barely audible and the progressive song 'Not Myself' has by far the best vocals on the entire disc. Awesome song with magic guitars.

This album ends with a stunning song 'Turmoil', which is another monster song with high class performances. 'Katharsis' is probably one of the biggest positive surprises from our blue and white neighbors this year. An album you must check out!!

Alexa Leroux – vocals
Mikael Grönroos – guitars
Lauri Koskenniemi – guitars
Silver Ots – bass
Lari Sorvo - keyboards
Juhana Karlsson – drums

Jens Johansson - keyboard

01. Katharsis
Last Warning
Heaven Into Hell
Hollow, Black & Cold
I Care
A Hopeless Tragedy
Whispers Follow You
For The Restless
Not Myself
Label: Lifeforce Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 79/100
Reviewed by: Patrik Skoglund
Date: 18 March, 2014
Website: shearofficial.com