AMARAN! At mp3.com I had downloaded the song "Rusty Warhorse" and was floored. I had definitely planned to contact the band, but as so often you tend to forget things… Well, now I have "A World Depraved" on Listenable and I am happy.
Heralded as "Power Metal with female vocals" one name, of course, shoots through your brain: NIGHTWISH. But AMARAN are different, a lot different! Musically they combine riffing of the Gothenburg-school with Melodic Metal, at times quite demanding song-structures and the powerful, cliché-free vocals of frontlady Johanna DePierre.
To put the style into words is pretty difficult, because they manage to cleverly elude any certain categorisation. Technically high standing they combine heavy guitars with a lot of atmosphere and great melodies, but never drift off into the shallow predictability of many bands, but spices up the compositions with surprising breaks and twists without damaging the flow of the songs.
Trademark of AMARAN is the voice of Johanna, which I would describe as a mix of THE GATHERING's Anneke van Giersbergen, LEFT HAND SOLUTION's Marianna Holmberg and LACUNA COIL's Cristina Scabbia, powerful, but still somehow soothing and relaxed, no soprano, even though she can reach those regions, if the song needs it.
Check-out-tips are the first quartet "Faith Healer", "Rusty Warhorse", "Void" with its irresistible riff and "Daffodil", but there are no fillers on "A World Depraved", but you should grant the CD a few rotations before judging, just as a side-note!
Even though single ingredients are nothing new in the Metal-scene, it is the combination that AMARAN presents us with that makes then original and that, even more in this quality, should absolutely be supported! (Online August 3, 2002)