ASKARA - Horizon Of Hope

Askara - Horizon Of Hope

8 songs
40:41 minutes
****
(self-released)

Bandpage

Askara are a gothic metal band from Basel in Switzerland and were founded in 2012. Before that, some of the musicians played in cover bands. The three men and one woman released a first track on a compilation in 2013, and then waited until the end of 2016 before they released their first longplayer.

The album Horizon Of Hope contains seven tracks that are all over five minutes long, two of which even make it to seven minutes, plus a short outro. The band labels their sound progressive gothic metal, so I expected on their long songs some variety, but I was sadly mistaken. At times the songs sound dark, sometimes more like kitsch, but they rarely find the necessary drive. The keyboards play a dominant role, which makes for some nuances, but the magic never lasts for long. Like many other genre bands, Askara use this so-called beauty-and-the-beast approach, but what works for others is not a success with this Swiss band. The female vocals donít sound firm enough, while the male vocals fell too imposed. Even their video hit Broken Wings doesnít convince. One wants the band to play a little faster to get things going, as the metal factor feels a little weak on Horizon Of Hope.

Unfortunately Askara donít manage to set new impulses with their debut. There are too many weaknesses which have to be remedied. I have the impression as if Horizon Of Hope has been released prematurely, as the songs donít seem to have matured enough. Letís send them back into the rehearsing room so that the follow-up will show us hopefully a more evolved band.

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