By Mike Maher
Distorted is an oriental, melodic, death metal band from Israel. The band mixes some high quality female vocals provided by Miri Milman, with the growls of guitarist Raffael Mor. Fans of Orphaned Land’s Sahara and El Norra Alila discs will want to check these guys out. And I’m not comparing them simply because they are both Israeli bands, but because they come from the same melodic death styles.The band was formed in 1996, and completed two years later with the addition of Milman on vocals and bassist Guy Shalom. After recording two demos, and playing shows in support of more established bands like Edguy, Orphaned Land and Megadeth, they recorded their debut album, Memorial, which was released in 2006 by Bad Reputation (France).Distorted just signed a three album deal with Candlelight records and are working on their sophomore disc.So, if this came out in 2006, why am I reviewing it now? Well, I just heard about it, and the band is gaining speed.They are scheduled to make an appearance at the Metal Female Voices Festival in Belgium on October 20th 2007alongside Epica and Leaves Eyes. Plus, I like it…a lot.
Memorial is a great heavy album, featuring 9 tracks laced with Eastern/Oriental flavors. I’ve been listening to a lot more progressive music than usual lately and this brought me right back to a RRAAAGGHHHHH…..mode. While I found that the mix of female vocals and heavy music was just a bit off for Echoes of Eternity, Distorted has baked a delicious metal cake. The guitars are jazzed, the growls are very well done, and Miri’s vocal talent is obvious. No sky high vocals here, just a damn good female voice! They’ve been around for a while, so the female vocals are a gimmick or following a current trend. These guys can play.
Memorial has nine tracks and I’ll highlight a few of them here. “Illusive” showcases the band’s style, opening the song with a cool Eastern style riff before they dive into double bass and wonderful crunchiness. “Children of Fall” is a highlight of the album, and is one of the first songs the band ever recorded. “Is It the Wind” is awesomely melodic, and has a wonderful transition between heavy and lighter guitars. Miri sounds nigh-perfect on this track. “Flesh and Blood” again showcases the bands’ awesome eastern influences, with the drums especially. It’s a welcome change from the standard droning riffs of so many bands, and I wish more bands would try something as unique. “Sometimes” has nice, heavy riffs, and there is a superb dynamic between the clean and growled vocals as they echo the same lyrics. “Redemption” is another heavy song that’s made for head banging. “In Your Light” begins choir-like and Miri shines here with some extended notes that must come from some giant sized lungs. “Hesped” is, I think, a eulogy for the deceased in Hebrew. It may be a prayer, and I can’t make out what is being said but the riff is cool and it’s a nice way to close the album.
Any melodic death fan, Orphaned Land fans especially, will enjoy this band and this disc. Miri can beat many other female leads to death with her voice, so those of you who are into female fronted bands should definitely check this disc out. For the casual reader, I promise you that they are just different enough to pique your interest.