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Kliodna - Set Me Free

Kliodna - CD Review
Set Me Free


CD Info
Independent Release
4 track EP
English lyrics


There’s not a lot of music coming my way from Minsk. And, from an unofficial analysis conducted by yours truly, something like 90% of ‘murikans think Minsk is someplace near Bogota, either that or it’s a suburb of Detroit. We’re not the most geographically sophisticated country in the world, doncha know. Well, this is Belarus and if that doesn’t sound like a location on the planet you’re familiar with, look it up. It’s Eastern Europe. And there’s a lot of outstanding music coming from what was once behind the Iron Curtin. It’s amazing what we’ve been missing. So, anyway, Kliodna is some folks from that location, probably not known to many but I’m here to tell you this sound has promise. They may end up being investment counselors tomorrow, or involved in some other form of labor far below their talent level, but, for today, they’re solid musicians. You won’t find much about the band, or the people in it on line. Maybe they made the Minsk Times, maybe they’re captured on the Belarus Femme Metal sites, assuming there are any. But, beyond that, well, you have moi.

But, whatever. They are good. I’d seen pictures of the band and asked the appropriate questions. Question number one was the address and phone number of the vocalist. That provoked a laugh, and no hard data. But, aside from the fact that she’s a looker, the girl has a voice. And, she’s not the only musical talent on this release, even if she is far and away the best looking. This is pretty good material, well developed, nicely produced and benefiting from some strong musicianship. The only significant problem is that there isn’t enough of it. And I’ve complained. When you’re this good, find an outlet, submit to people. I listen to stuff all the time that isn’t near as good as this and they get all kinds of backing. Of course, this is Belarus and there aren’t a lot of labels in the neighborhood. And that’s a shame, I’d like nothing more than to hear more from this band.

Now, to be clear, this is a 4 track EP. Bummer for you. I have 6 tracks and some of the additional material I have is kick ass. From what I’m told, the additional material is planned to come with a full release due out in the next few months. So, since I have it, I’m gonna talk about it. And it continues the musical excellence that we got with the EP.

So, let’s get to it. The first track is I’ll do the Haunting. OK, there is that science fantasy component, but it’s done with a little bit of Gothic at one level. And, with this one, you do get a pictures of the band, including far too few of the lovely Helena Wild who does the killer vocals. I’d talk about the lyrics but they were there, assuming, like me, you weren’t busy looking for shots of Ms. Wild. But you do get an introduction to the sound, and it’s a lot of sound. Keyboards, some strings, more metal than you deserve and that killer vocal. The drums keep things moving but the overall effect is one of massive sound. I don’t think they actually have massive numbers of musicians here but what they have is clearly capable of creating a lot of music. And, it’s really good. Especially the parts where Ms. Wild goes wild with the high octave vocals in the upper regions, followed by some guitar work of epic proportion. This is what we came here for, this is what we want to hear, even if we can’t find Minsk on a fookin’ map.

The title track may be even better. You get a lot more pictures of Ms. Wild, probably not that one with the topless shot, and some others that may actually focus on the lyrics which are, again, provided. Clearly, this is not material of a Christian nature which means it was produced a long ways from my local. It again has that epic feel with the lovely Ms. Wild demonstrating a vocal capability that leaves much of my country in the dust. There’s not as much massive music in this one but there is sufficient metal to cover any requisite background material for Ms. Wild. Her vocals are sultry, even given the hard metal delivery vehicle we hear in the background. The accent only makes it more attractive, nothing more enticing than hearing an Eastern European climbing to the top of the register, it’s that Dracula movie thing, you know those girls were oh so hot.

Blood in the Sea takes us to a more overt Gothic theme. Again, the music is metal based. But these guys sure know how to introduce the female vocal. And Ms. Wild knows how to take over. This one goes in multiple musical directions. We don’t stay in one musical style too long. There’s some killer background vocal material that serves to enhance the main vocal. And lyrically we get some additional interesting thoughts:

Sailing on the troubled waters
Stirred by Poseidon's trident
Not allowing rights of passage
Driving through the waves creating
His unquestioned dominance
Leaving Zeus and Hades to their own worlds

The 4th title on the release is Night Symphony. It goes in a totally different direction. We get soft material here, ethereal stuff and very good overall. Ms. Wild takes us to a different place with this one. It’s sultry, it’s sexy, it’s beautiful in so many ways. The girl can go in a lot of directions. It’s hard to determine whether this is a style the band likes or something they need to know to fill in the resume. I don’t know. In my opinion, it has it’s ups and downs, the introduction is less effective than what comes after it. But, again, the vocal saves the day. It’s pretty much impossible to listen to Ms. Wild and not appreciate the contribution. That vocal is just too good, she could sing with a rap band and make it sound good. You get that string thing as well and that provides some excellence that you don’t expect. And, there’s a guitar thing towards the end that provides religion, especially when paired with a solid ethereal vocal from on high.

Well, that’s it for the release. But, fook it, I got other stuff so let's talk about it. Northern Wolf will be on the new release. Give it a listen. You may know Robin Stryker from our staff, this is clearly her kind of material. Gotta love the wild life on the release. And, again, the vocal drives the material. The background sounds are more than effective but it’s the entire package that tends to impress.

And, I have another track which will probably be on the release. It’s called Road to Anywhere. This one continues the vocal excellence and tends to emphasize the coordination with the metal component. You wonder if this is a direction the new release will follow. A little less focus on the epic, a little more traditional metal. I don’t know how I’d react to that. There’s some electronic stuff you didn’t hear before, interesting, but, when you have a vocal like Ms. Wild you just can’t hear too much of it. Let her rip.

So, that’s the story from Minsk. This is killer material, with promise of solid material to come. It’s inconceivable to me that this can’t make an impression. The new full release should be available in a few months. Should be worth the wait. Until then, I’m still waiting on phone numbers and addresses. You gotta get something from this business.