SoulTakers - Flies In A Jar

11 songs
51:20 minutes
***** *


Women in heavy metal are still a rarity, and most of the time, they are either the sexy vocalist or they are assembled in an all-women band which works more like a gimmick than a real band. This where the Italian six-piece SoulTakers enter the arena. Founded by the two sisters Francesca and Federica Badalini who are both classically trained pianists, they recruited four male members for vocals, rhythm section and violin, while they provide guitars and piano. Yes, piano, because you won’t hear any keyboards on Flies In A Jar, which help to set their second album apart from most other symphonic melodic gothic metal albums that are often dominated by keyboard carpets.

When it comes to originality, SoulTakers are clearly winners. Unfortunately, Flies In A Jar is repeating the same pattern over and over again, the violin is drowning a bit in the overall sound, and the piano is at times just too much of a good thing, and you would wish for some more continuous keyboard sound after all.

Tracks like the opener Heaven’s Pillars, The Chasm and The Silent Empire show the band from their best side, combining symphonic metal with a progressive edge and a certain kind of Italian baroque mentality. The last song, Another World, on the other side, is an awful ballad that really would have better been left in the archives. Also vocalist Dino Brentali sings too much in the same registers, making his performance just a little too tedious for this fifty minute ride.

SoulTakers are a band with enormous potential and a really innovative take at their genre, but they still feel stuck a bit in what they do. If they allow their music to accept more foreign influences (how about more progressive elements for instance?), they might just be able to deliver the next time a truly revelatory album.

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