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After releasing their debut record, “Breaking the Stillness”, in 2012, the Finns of Shear are back with a new epic album. Already the name, “Katharsis”, sounds promising. Their debut received many favourable reviews, it was almost praised to the skies, putting perhaps a lot of pressure on the five guys and their front lady. With “Breaking the Stillness”, I always had the feeling that the band plays a bit too cautious but now, on “Katharsis”, they really let loose. There are also more American influences and so, Alexa sometimes switches to speech and sings a bit harsher than on the last record. Now and then, I have the impression that Alexa comes close to her limits and her vocal power fades but she masters the transition between high and low, rough parts (check out “Home”), at least on record, perfectly. Sometimes her way of singing reminds me a bit of Kimberly Goss from Sinergy but Alexa still has that slightly poppy feel in her voice. And she, for sure, sounds 100 times better now than on “Breaking the Stillness”. Towards the end of the record, she, however, uses that higher, more screaming Rock voice more often, which I don´t like very much. Music-wise, the band was again in the mood for experimenting: these fast and frequent changes within one song sometimes create some chaos but, luckily, this happens only with a few songs. There should be a song for everyone on this record as the genre spectrum is very wide, ranging from pop over Power/Prog Metal to softer tunes. All in all, what you get are many different, powerful songs that go straight under your skin.
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