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Music Review: Akentra – IV.IV.IV.

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2010 should be quite a year for French Gothic-Metal band Akentra. This will be the year that their first full length album will be released. To whet the appetite of their ever growing fan-base they have recently released a five track E.P. called IV.IV.IV.

Akentra was formed in 2006, and is worryingly named after some sort of carnivorous plant. They neatly tap into areas where light meets darkness, and power sits threateningly amid fragility. They are driven by the bass of Stephane Rayot, and drummer Steve Tilmant, who combine to create a labyrinth of dark brooding metal power.

The band is fronted by singer Lucia Ferreira whose haunting vocals draw every possible emotion from the lyrics. She sings in English and possesses a voice more than capable of delivering a heady mixture of power, sensitivity, melancholy, mystery, sensuality, and drama.

For this first release they are joined by guest guitarist Didier Chesneau, and the keys of Aymeric Ribot (Invictus, Headline, and Magic Kingdom). The result delivers five highly promising tracks that make the forthcoming album definitely one to look out for.

IV.IV.IV. starts with “Do My Best”, a darkly compelling track. This opening confirms that they can write infectious hooks that hang around well into the night. Whilst the music is a combined effort Lucia writes the lyrics that she subsequently sings so well.

Her vocal range is impressive and allows the band to venture off wherever the song travels to. “Daddy” arrives darkly with driving, broody guitar over a solid rhythm section. The atmospheric addition of Aymeric’s keys and Didier Chesneau's brief but razor sharp guitar break completes the scene.

Potential standout track “Alone” eases it down before gradually stepping up the emotional power. Darkly melancholic, and dramatically powerful it showcases the bands musicianship, balance, and, of course, Lucia’s voice. Again the guitar work shines through the darkness.

The memorable “Just Close Your Eyes” is built around another infectious line that makes it definite air-play potential. The sinister lyrics to “Gimme Your Gun” close a quality E.P. that oozes confidence and consistency. Let it run though for a ‘hidden’ extra acoustic version of “Just Close Your Eyes”.

While we wait for that album it is well worth getting to know this band, or catch a gig. If this is anything to go by, I can’t wait to hear it.

Check out their official website and MySpace page for more details and an order form (in English) for IV.IV.IV.

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About Jeff Perkins