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[REVIEW]: Sign of Angels (2010) by Issa


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Issa

Sign of Angels (2010)

Frontiers Records

Produced by: Ronny Milianowicz, Tim Larsoon & Tobias Lundgren

 

For the Genre: *---- (1/5)

Compared to the Era: *---- (1/5)

7

“Issa” is a project by Serafino Perugino—the president of Italian Melodic Rock record label Frontiers Records—and brings Uli Kusch on drums, Nobby Noberg on bass, Peter Huss on guitar and Tim Larrson on synthesizers with contest-winning vocalist Isabel Oversveen, a glamorous looking singer that graces the front cover of this debut release. Whether browsing the photographs throughout the CD booklet, watching the music video or listening to the music, it is clear that Perugino’s primary objective with this project was to make a record Frontiers could market in the North American music market by cloning Avril Lavigne. If female-fronted rock with cynical lyrics is your forte, this will be your album. However, if you are looking for songs that are optimistic about love, you can buy the 7th track, “Unbelievable,” and stop right there.

 

After listening to this album several times in a row, I ended up enjoying at least half of the songs on the disc once I was able to mentally filter out Issa’s nasally vocals and the whiney lyrics. The raw feeling of the music with often mono guitar tracks and rough, heavily compressed drum tracks reminded me of early Mötley Crüe, including the gratuitous motorcycle sound effects on “Flying High.” I think my favorite thing about this album is Nobby’s deepy, throaty, heavy technique, with thick plucking and lots of string rubs. Great examples of that are on songs like “As I Live and Breathe,” “How Will I Know,” “River of Love” and “Falling Angel.”

 

Nevertheless, I had to give this album a lot of chances to appeal to me because it took a long time for me to appreciate some of the better aspects of the record. I was bored to tears by the opening track, “Angels Crying” and what could have been a sexy song in “I’m Alive” ended up being, really, anything but for a lot of reasons. I usually don’t care about lyrics at all but if the music is unimaginative and deliberately produced in such a way as to suggest the most important musician on the song is the vocalist, then I end up focusing on the least appealing aspect of the record.

 

Specifically, I thought the endless use of barre chords on the guitar tracks and the irritating synthesizer were a particularly unfortunate combination. Perhaps if the compositions weren’t so bland and generic on the majority of the material recorded for “Sign of Angels,” I could have given this a better rating. However, I have to say, this is the most disappointing release I’ve ever purchased with the Frontiers Records imprint.

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On the contrary, I think Issa is doin' fine for me, nothing's groundbreaking, but the melodies are nice, her vocal aren't the best, but also far from worst. Many albums are worse than this, but this album is around 80% for me which is a great one, and that also goes with the second album which is identical.

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The second album does sound quite a bit like the first one. It is a good sounding album but compared to some of what Frontiers was releasing in 2010, it fell short for me. I guess I should be happy that someone other than Robin Beck is providing female vox on AOR releases in these times, but I can't imagine spending north of $11 on an Issa CD and for that one I paid over $17.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This must be the most frustratingly rated CD in the world for me. As I noted several times around it's release, I was, and am still extremely impressed by it. It's an absolutely excellent CD and sorry mate, but the lyrics comment is as senseless as the senseless comments about this being a "pop" CD, or somehow not being as "heavy" as other CDs in the genre. The totally mindless thing about those comments is that the writers and players on this CD probably play on 90% of the artist project CDs that are released these days, and that are rated very highly. ;)

 

The new album is great. So is this. Her voice is accented but fine to me, and I think she's without doubt the most exciting female vocalist in our genre at the moment. Certainly leaps and bounds ahead of the likes of Robin Beck and Fiona's recent output, imo.

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Mmm, both ISSA albums are pretty weak IMO.

 

The 2 female fronted bands which stand out a mile at the moment are Within Temptation and Halestorm.

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Mmm, both ISSA albums are pretty weak IMO.

 

The 2 female fronted bands which stand out a mile at the moment are Within Temptation and Halestorm.

 

For me, I put Delain over Halestorm.

 

As for the ISSA CD, it has its moments but nothing great IMO.

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Mmm, both ISSA albums are pretty weak IMO.

 

The 2 female fronted bands which stand out a mile at the moment are Within Temptation and Halestorm.

 

For me, I put Delain over Halestorm.

 

As for the ISSA CD, it has its moments but nothing great IMO.

Big fan of the latest WT disc, as well as Halestorm. But in all honesty, I'd still rate Issa over both. Love the girl from Halestorm's voice, though.

 

Just checked and I currently have Issa's newie at 14 on my list and WT at 22. Both killer discs, but I would give the nod to Issa. :)

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Mmm, both ISSA albums are pretty weak IMO.

 

The 2 female fronted bands which stand out a mile at the moment are Within Temptation and Halestorm.

 

Both bands are better than ISSA, I agree, even though all of them are playing in a different league, but I don't think they're weak, maybe you can't get past the vocal ? the songs are mostly good I guess.

 

and Geoff, did you still think the first one is better or do you think both are same level now?

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On the contrary, I think Issa is doin' fine for me, nothing's groundbreaking, but the melodies are nice, her vocal aren't the best, but also far from worst. Many albums are worse than this, but this album is around 80% for me which is a great one, and that also goes with the second album which is identical.

 

 

My sentiments to a tee.

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Mmm, both ISSA albums are pretty weak IMO.

 

The 2 female fronted bands which stand out a mile at the moment are Within Temptation and Halestorm.

 

For me, I put Delain over Halestorm.

 

As for the ISSA CD, it has its moments but nothing great IMO.

Big fan of the latest WT disc, as well as Halestorm. But in all honesty, I'd still rate Issa over both. Love the girl from Halestorm's voice, though.

 

Just checked and I currently have Issa's newie at 14 on my list and WT at 22. Both killer discs, but I would give the nod to Issa. :)

 

Yep I'd take Issa over those two as well. In fact I'd take her over pretty much anything. A park bench, a back car seat, even a toilet seat if she'd let me...

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Mmm, both ISSA albums are pretty weak IMO.

 

The 2 female fronted bands which stand out a mile at the moment are Within Temptation and Halestorm.

 

For me, I put Delain over Halestorm.

 

As for the ISSA CD, it has its moments but nothing great IMO.

Big fan of the latest WT disc, as well as Halestorm. But in all honesty, I'd still rate Issa over both. Love the girl from Halestorm's voice, though.

 

Just checked and I currently have Issa's newie at 14 on my list and WT at 22. Both killer discs, but I would give the nod to Issa. :)

 

Yep I'd take Issa over those two as well. In fact I'd take her over pretty much anything. A park bench, a back car seat, even a toilet seat if she'd let me...

Ha. Evil man. I was going to comment at the time of the new release on how the photos on the new CD looked like they were desperately waiting for a pearlish substance to be included on them, but I thought it inappropriate.

 

Nightrain, I still definitely prefer the debut. Both are excellent CDs, but the standouts on the debut (about 5 number) are still better than anything off the new one, imo. Can't go wrong with either, though.

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but I thought it inappropriate.

 

 

Really ?!?!?!?!?

 

;)

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I dont quite get why Halestorm and Within Temptation were brought up in comparison seeing as they are both different styles to Issa.

I havent bothered with Issa as it sounds a lot more AOR to me than the other two, and even then, Halestorm and Within Temptation are different styles as well.

 

Issa is AOR to me. Within Temptation is closer to symphonic metal. Halestorm is closer to hard rock/hair metal.

 

Halestorm is more my cup of tea, hence that is the only one that I find essential purchases of their albums.

Issa though does sound good to my ears, and I dont see where anyone can call her vocals nasal. Nasal to me is someone like Axl Rose, with that whiney quality (not whiney in a bad way).

 

Delain was also mentioned, and once again, I dont see them as being in the same genre as Issa as they are closer to WT.

 

Just because they are all female vocalists doesnt mean they should be compared to eachother anymore than anyone would automatically compare Giant to Megadeth and Ratt just because they have male vocalists.

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but I thought it inappropriate.

 

 

Really ?!?!?!?!?

 

;)

Only because her husband wrote most the songs and is mentioned all over the credits. Made me feel... how do I say it? Impure?

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I dont quite get why Halestorm and Within Temptation were brought up in comparison seeing as they are both different styles to Issa.

I havent bothered with Issa as it sounds a lot more AOR to me than the other two, and even then, Halestorm and Within Temptation are different styles as well.

 

Issa is AOR to me. Within Temptation is closer to symphonic metal. Halestorm is closer to hard rock/hair metal.

 

Halestorm is more my cup of tea, hence that is the only one that I find essential purchases of their albums.

Issa though does sound good to my ears, and I dont see where anyone can call her vocals nasal. Nasal to me is someone like Axl Rose, with that whiney quality (not whiney in a bad way).

 

Delain was also mentioned, and once again, I dont see them as being in the same genre as Issa as they are closer to WT.

 

Just because they are all female vocalists doesnt mean they should be compared to eachother anymore than anyone would automatically compare Giant to Megadeth and Ratt just because they have male vocalists.

 

Yeah I mentioned them as they are all female fronted - and I dont listen to many female fronted bands so naturally just lumped them together.

 

But I see your point on genres.

 

Still not that keen on ISSA tho....again I have a strong feeling she will be at Firefest 2012 (her having attended the show last year), and yeah I guess I'll be down the front perving ;-))

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Based on what I read on AOR magazine, I just found out that Issa's husband is one of the Martin brothers of VEGA, I wonder where Martin also got involved in writing the second album ?

 

yeah that's why she was at Firefest - cos they are married.

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I dont quite get why Halestorm and Within Temptation were brought up in comparison seeing as they are both different styles to Issa.

I havent bothered with Issa as it sounds a lot more AOR to me than the other two, and even then, Halestorm and Within Temptation are different styles as well.

 

Issa is AOR to me. Within Temptation is closer to symphonic metal. Halestorm is closer to hard rock/hair metal.

 

Halestorm is more my cup of tea, hence that is the only one that I find essential purchases of their albums.

Issa though does sound good to my ears, and I dont see where anyone can call her vocals nasal. Nasal to me is someone like Axl Rose, with that whiney quality (not whiney in a bad way).

 

Delain was also mentioned, and once again, I dont see them as being in the same genre as Issa as they are closer to WT.

 

Just because they are all female vocalists doesnt mean they should be compared to eachother anymore than anyone would automatically compare Giant to Megadeth and Ratt just because they have male vocalists.

 

Yeah I mentioned them as they are all female fronted - and I dont listen to many female fronted bands so naturally just lumped them together.

 

But I see your point on genres.

 

Still not that keen on ISSA tho....again I have a strong feeling she will be at Firefest 2012 (her having attended the show last year), and yeah I guess I'll be down the front perving ;-))

 

Yep, it was the female fronted bands digression that got me to comment. But yeah, get your point CH.

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but I thought it inappropriate.

 

 

Really ?!?!?!?!?

 

;)

Only because her husband wrote most the songs and is mentioned all over the credits. Made me feel... how do I say it? Impure?

 

Your point being? I don't care if the husband is in the room next door penning tunes on his type-writer, she'd still get it. It's only impure if she is:

 

1. below 15 (insert the legal age of the country you are in, and subtract two)

2. a relative (not sure the legalities, but pretty sure cousins are ok. Probably sisters are okay too if you're in Australia)

3. no longer breathing (though depends whether rigor mortis has set in)

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but I thought it inappropriate.

 

 

Really ?!?!?!?!?

 

;)

Only because her husband wrote most the songs and is mentioned all over the credits. Made me feel... how do I say it? Impure?

 

Your point being? I don't care if the husband is in the room next door penning tunes on his type-writer, she'd still get it. It's only impure if she is:

 

1. below 15 (insert the legal age of the country you are in, and subtract two)

2. a relative (not sure the legalities, but pretty sure cousins are ok. Probably sisters are okay too if you're in Australia)

3. no longer breathing (though depends whether rigor mortis has set in)

 

:rofl2:

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but I thought it inappropriate.

 

 

Really ?!?!?!?!?

 

;)

Only because her husband wrote most the songs and is mentioned all over the credits. Made me feel... how do I say it? Impure?

 

Your point being? I don't care if the husband is in the room next door penning tunes on his type-writer, she'd still get it. It's only impure if she is:

 

1. below 15 (insert the legal age of the country you are in, and subtract two)

2. a relative (not sure the legalities, but pretty sure cousins are ok. Probably sisters are okay too if you're in Australia)

3. no longer breathing (though depends whether rigor mortis has set in)

 

:rofl2:

I did enjoy the Aussie sister comment. I did always wish I'd had a sister so I wouldn't have been so awkward around girls as a kid. I'm sure she could really have taught me the ways of intercourse real nice.

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