Gothic metal may tend to get a lot of negative reactions these days, mainly because the acts that have popularized the genre among the mainstream have been far from the best. But there are plenty of noteworthy bands out there, such as Belarus based Diathra. Formed in 1995, the group hasn’t been the most active but has always managed to make up for it with well written doom/gothic metal riffs. After a near six year break, Diathra has returned with their sophomore release My Endless Sorrow. And if you enjoy any form of female fronted gothic metal, you will find this album to be a great addition to your collection.
The instrumentals on My Endless Sorrow primarily stay in the realm of gothic metal/rock through the use of somber melodies and prominent keyboard use, but at times Diathra also throws in some doom metal styles by slowing down the tempo and adding in some much heavier riffs. However, the tempo is never as slow as a traditional doom metal group, ensuring that listeners who typically have found themselves unable to get into regular doom will still be able to appreciate this band. But what really helps to set this group apart is through the use of some really well placed and technically competent guitar solos. I really can’t remember the last time I heard a guitar solo on a gothic metal rock release, and the fact that Diathra has a great one on almost every song certainly makes them even more memorable.
Diathra’s vocalist Shiyka Dmitriy has a beautiful voice that fits perfectly with the instrumentals. Like many of the other female singers in this genre, she has a voice that is very melodic and if often sounds as though she has been classically trained. While Dmitriy’s vocals certainly steal the spotlight, the band has also decided to throw in a few other elements on some of the songs. On some tracks Diathra adds some male vocals into the mix in the form of growling and the occasional voice over. While the growling does fit in, the voice over used on the song “I Am Sorry” seems to overlay Dmitriy’s singing and create a jumbled mess, and its inclusion is questionable.
My Endless Sorrow is a stand out album which should help to put Diathra up there with many of the classic gothic metal acts out there. In fact, I’m willing to bet that the only reason more people aren’t aware of this band is because they have released so little material in their thirteen plus years of existence. And as long as you can appreciate the style of singing offered on this release, you will likely find that this group has some well written material and some standout solos that give them an edge over what much of the genre has to offer right now.
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