Yet another Ukrainian Gothic Doom band...HEY, DON'T LEAVE!!! Upon a quick first glance, one could easily think that Symphonian is another member of this horde of cliché wannabe bands that even a Twilight fan wouldn’t want to see in his/her favourite movie series. And this would be a big mistake.
Truth is that Symphonian bring nothing new to the table, and it’s perhaps their biggest flaw. Mid-tempo songs with melodic riffs, keyboards in the background, Beauty and the Beast vocals and sorrowful/depressive lyrics...We've all heard that before a million times since the release of ’Theatre Of Tragedy’. Yet, behind this avalanche of clichés actually lies a good album. For Symphonian may be a strictly by-the-book Gothic Doom band, but they are very good at what they do.
Let's take a song like ‘Withered’as the epitome of Symphonian’s art : it's a simple song, awesomely played and composed and dripping with feelings. The guys know how to play their instruments and singer Lana Sokolova is blessed with one of the best voice I heard since Draconian, lighter than the tears of an angel. Like I've said, you've heard that before. But rarely clichés have been so convincingly invested. Each song is finely carved like a Swarowski crystal and never hesitates to venture into some more daring grounds (to dwell a bit longer on ‘Withered’ : the very aggressive guitar parts create a crushing atmosphere you don't entcounter so often these days in Gothic Metal, and even less in Gothic Doom). And to complement that, the production is simply excellent, adding a lot of depth to every track.
Symphonian have not released the best Gothic Doom album of 2011 (ties are still between Ava Inferi's ’Onyx’ and Draconian's ’A Rose For The Apocalypse’), but they have indeed produced the best debut in the genre in 2011 (if not in a long while). They are indeed the best Gothic Doom newcomers I had the pleasure to listen to this year which, considering how much the genre is a small niche, is something akin to a real performance. They just need to develop a oh-so-little thing in term of personality and they could actually become really big. As far as it goes right now, they've just created what is, in my opinion, the best Gothic Doom album ever released by an Ukrainian band. Any fan of well-played Gothic Doom should absolutely support Symphonian.