Sanvoisen


Exotic Ways

Sanvoisen - Exotic Ways ©1994 Noise
1. Colours Around
2. The Law
3. It's Over
4. Tears For No One
5. Under Permission
6. The Blind
7. What I Mean
8. No Place For Me
9. Believe
10. Time Is Not
11. I'm Alive
12. Unlisted Track

Sanvoisen are a progressive metal fivesome that haven't seemed to receive much recognition. Possibly this is due to only having two releases to date and both of them being rather hard to find. It's a shame they haven't been better promoted because they play some really good music. Fueled by a pair of guitarists and a talented vocalist, Sanvoisen play metal that hints at being progressive with the use of keys way in the background. Comparisons could be made with Fates Warning or Queensryche for the style and sound. Their sound is very inviting. The song structure is complex with changes in the melodies of almost every song on the disc. They manage to keep the inviting nature of the music even when making the changes or when in high gear. They use acoustic guitar work to accent and highlight the songs which adds to the richness of the overall sound. The twin guitar attack is what really drives the music forward and gives it real punch. The singer, Vagelis Maranis, is a very good singer. Very much in the Geoff Tate line of singing style, he has a great high end without sounding strained when he reaches. His singing carries the impression that he could push it much harder, but knows his limits. He may go to those upper limits a bit too frequently for some listeners, but I think he carries the songs quite well. Lyrically, there isn't much to say. The liner notes only provide brief quotes from the songs, but a listen or two gives you the content pretty clearly. There is nothing spectacular about the words of the songs, but neither are they silly or bombastic. The band plays with confidence and produces a sound that you might expect on a fourth or fifth disc. This is a well produced disc that would make a good addition to any collection of progressive heavy metal.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 06/2000

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Soul Seasons

Sanvoisen - Soul Seasons ©1997 Saraya Recordings
1. Spirits
2. Mindwars
3. Behind My Dreams
4. The Difference
5. Soul Seasons
6. Against The Fear
7. Broken Silence
8. Waiting For The Rain
9. Somebody's Stolen My Name

With their second release, Sanvoisen show how much the band has matured in the interim. This disc has a much heavier sound than Exotic Ways, the singing is tighter, and the overall feel is more unified and solid. The twin guitar attack is still present, but it has been nudged forward several steps. The playing is very good, better even than on Exotic Ways. The keys are even further back in the music serving the purpose of enhancing or redirecting rather than focusing. The warm inviting sound is still present, but it insinuates itself into your mind much more forcefully than on the previous disc. The songs themselves reflect the maturity of the band. These are much longer songs with more vocal content than those on Exotic Ways. The singing is very good, with Vagelis soaring and emoting better than on the first disc. The lyrics are present on the liner notes. They show a much wordier style of song than the previous disc. The playing, as mentioned above, is much heavier than on the first disc. There is more room for some really great stylish guitar work in these songs. Then disc shows the diversity and talent of the players very well. Whether it is a straight ahead rocker like "Somebody's Stolen My Name," or a ballad like "Broken Silence," the songs are played to the hilt. "Broken Silence" is one of those songs that you replay when it ends so you can catch it one more time. The added guitar licks invite another listen as the song crunches along with some real power. The riffs and licks are very clean just like the singing. Sanvoisen produce a sharp, well defined sound with some excellent production on this disc. They have done what progressive metal groups are supposed to do, progress. I really look forward to a future release from this group.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 06/2000

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