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Julian's Lullaby - I Can Hear You Thinking (4,5/10) - Greece - 2007

Genre: Gothic Metal
Label: Self-production
Playing time: 26:31
Band homepage: Julian's Lullaby

Tracklist:

  1. Eyes Of Gray
  2. Kiss Me Not (Tonight)
  3. Queen In Your Dream
  4. Hanging Crown
  5. Ocean Of Tears
  6. Just For A Day
Julian's Lullaby - I Can Hear You Thinking

This seems a bit bifurcated. Okay, see, JULIAN’S LULLABY is a young Greek band with both male and female vocalists. Kind of unusually, they are both clean singers and are actually both pretty good. More unusually, the male vocalist (Antonios “Rock Idol” Chaniotis) is also the group’s violinist. Since I mentioned Antonios, the rest of the band are founder/guitarist/keyboardist/writer Elias “Sagittarius” Negrin and vocalist Efrosyne Papamichalopoulou. The odd thing here, though, is that the band seems to have two distinct styles depending on which one of the two is the dominant vocalist for the song.

 

The album opens with “Eyes Of Gray,” on which Efrosyne is the only vocalist. It’s an airy blend of Alt-Rock and the lightest WITHIN TEMPTATION Gothic Metal style, with Antonios’s violin featured heavily. It’s practically guaranteed to drive away metalheads. But then we turn to “Kiss Me Not (Tonight)” and “Hanging Crown,” where Antonios takes over and suddenly we’ve got a heavier edge, an attempt at an early 80s Heavy Metal sound not a million miles away from early MERCYFUL FATE (but also not nearly as good). Antonios has a great tenor, but trying to put on the kind of fiery edge you get in most Hard Rock vocalists rather diminishes it. Closer “Just For A Day” is a stab at piano melancholy that once again brings Efrosyne back as the lead vocalist.

 

Okay, on another listen I suppose the sound is trifurcated instead. The four that I mentioned above slot nicely into separate styles, but “Queen In Your Dream” and “Ocean Of Tears” actually seeks to synthesize the two styles. They’re probably the best songs on the album as a result, but the integration isn’t seamless.

In all honesty, this is a pretty awkward debut. The disparate styles are distracting and the music is never really as strong as it needs to be. Hopefully the band can tighten things up before their next attempt.

(Online April 13, 2008)

Keith Stevens



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