Review Summary: Progressive, oriental, female fronted metal from Israel.
Distorted are a unique metal band hailing from Bat-Yam, Israel. They formed in 1996 but only released one album in a 10 year span. Their second album, “Voices From Within’ was released on Candlelight Records. “Voices From Within” continues the path Distorted went down with “Memorial”. Distorted combine a variety of music styles ranging from melodic death metal, gothic, and even progressive elements wrapped around a middle eastern flavor into a refreshing blend of music that gives the metal community another solid release to search for. The band seamlessly incorporate these styles into their music due to honing strong song writing skills within the ranks and tight musicianship. The melodic death influence can be strongly felt by raging tempos, the deathly growls from Raffael, and the blazing solos from the Ben and Raffael duo that keep impressing me with every listen. The gothic metal attributes can be directed to front woman Miri’s distinct vocal style. Her voice has a slight middle eastern draw that complements the power and the beauty of her voice. The guitar rhythms are as progressive as they are aggressive and catchy.
If I may say this, Distorted carry an Opeth like dynamic to their music. The band’s music holds the same balance of light and dark shades that Opeth are known for mastering to perfection. Harsh vocals and aggressive rhythms are counter balanced with clean singing and mellower shifts as the heavy riff patterns are positioned with melodic breaks and acoustic guitar. The blueprints of the music share a similarity to Opeth but the natural transition of the bands middle eastern roots squeeze their way through the music without having to rely on synthesizers or keyboards to lend a hollowed out sound. Many bands try to play music with the same soft to heavy dynamic but most fail in their goal. Distorted cleanly transition from each section and keep the music varied and interesting with respectable song lengths. The vocal work is divided between main vocalist Miri and the guitarist, Raffael. The harsh vocals from Raffael are deep and raspy, complementing the aggressive nature of the music despite playing second fiddle to Miri. On occasion, Raffael shows us his strong singing voice. One of the album’s highlight ‘Letting Go” displays his clean voice with a solid presentation and a diverse vocal performance. Miri has a beautiful singing voice that has improved a lot since their debut album. During the forceful passages Miri wields power and control but it’s when the music is at it’s when Miri is at her finest hour. The ballad on the album, “A Soft Whisper” also the best track of the album finds Miri singing directly from the heart as the acoustic guitar creates a rocking beat. The song later picks up with electric guitar and a catchy verse. A rocking solo makes it’s way in and closes the song with an epic finish.
The guitar duo of Ben and Raffael is a talented one at that. Guitars play a big role in the album and these guys play a lot of catchy patterns. Riffs are heavy and fast when they need to be and slow and melodic when the time calls for it. “Voices From Within” has plenty of flashy solos that are executed with precision. On the album they don’t have a full time drummer so a studio drummer by the name of Shaked was hired to play the drums. He gives a great performance switching between speedy double bass and slower rock oriented patterns. Nothing too flashy, Shaked just goes with the flow, holding rhythm for the guitars and vocals. The bass work is present and plays a bigger role than just standing there. Guy’s bass has a deep rumbling tone that can be heard riffing along with the guitars for a large portion of the album. Production is crisp and captures the atmosphere Distorted was trying to project with their music. Guest performances from members of Draconian and Therion only enrich the sound that Distorted are molding into their own. Candlelight Records has released another gem of a metal record and 2008 is turning out to be quite the year for metal. If you want to hear a female fronted metal band that sticks out from the rest of the pack then I suggest you check out Distorted. You will not be disappointed.