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Album Review By Chris Palmer
The band GOLD was formed in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The six-piece consists of Milena Eva [Vocals], Thomas Sciarone [Guitar], Kamiel Top [Guitar], Jaka Bolic [Guitar], Tim Meijer [Bass], and Igor Wouters [Drums].
Since formation, GOLD have released two full-length albums: “Interbellum”  and “No Image” . This year [24th February] saw the release of the band’s third full-length, “Optimist”, which is available on Ván Records and is the subject of this review.
It has been stated that Milena Eva lays bare her insecurities, internal struggles, and self-doubt within her lyrics. This is done as a means to reach out and connect, to ultimately inspire acceptance and love of the self, of the known, and of the alien. Guitarist, Thomas Sciarone also comments … “Our activism and socio-criticism is strongly rooted in self-reflection and improving ourselves. We do not only intend to break down walls and bridge gaps between scenes and genres, but also [more importantly] between people. If it’s necessary to call out those who want to stand between us, we artistically will.”
This best describes GOLD’s lyrical content and nonconformist outsider approach. But what of the actual music? Running for 39 minutes and 44 seconds, “Optimist” contains nine tracks of what I’d call Heavy Rock, as would be expected from a band with three guitarists within its ranks. Opener “You Too Must Die” begins slowly before a neat riff comes in and things start to build to a crescendo before Melina’s vocals join proceedings. Her vocals contain an element of beauty as well as great melody in all the right places, which suits the music perfectly. Whilst rather slow in nature, this opening number does have a somewhat heavy feel to it and I can immediately tell that this album is going to be an interesting listen.
“Summer Thunder” fails to disappoint as it rumbles along with excellent drumming and guitar-play. “White Noise” has a contagious rhythm that’ll have your feet tapping and head nodding whilst you hum along to the vocals, such is their catchy nature. The opening three tracks are truly excellent and I feel that more of the same is to come as slow guitar notes introduce me to the opening sequences of the rather slow and mellow “Teenage Lust”, before the music turns heavier during the track’s second half. Doom-laden riffs are the order of the day during this section, bringing another element of heaviness to proceedings.
“No Shadow” twists the dial up a notch as impressive drumming and bass lines are heard. The headbanging soon commences as powerful and heavy riffs enter, increasing the tempo dramatically. Terrific stuff! The non-conformist musical adventure continues through the brilliantly rhythmic “I Do My Own Stunts”, which will have you continuously singing the chorus back at the band whilst enjoying the excellent guitar-play and solos. “Be Good” and “Come With Me” flow naturally, adding more variety to GOLD’s predominant signature sound before the album finishes with the slightly heavier “Tear”.
To be honest, I didn’t quite know what to expect from “Optimist” when I received it for review. The album’s cover artwork left me questioning the music within. However, I was pleasantly surprised … Quite frankly, “Optimist” is a gem of an album, a hidden treasure if you will. Milena’s vocals really compliment the other instruments throughout these nine tracks, especially the bold, yet heavy riffs. Each track conveys the emotions held within the messages being brought to the fore, leaving the listener feeling closer to the music during this inspirational and moving piece of artwork.
With “Optimist”, GOLD have made an album that is an emotional, yet compelling listen. This is an album that has left me wanting to discover this six-piece’s back catalogue and hear more of their sounds. I can’t stress enough how important this album is, whether you’re a fan of heavy music or not. “Optimist” is one of those unique albums that has the ability to jump out from the pack and grab your attention. You’ll be disappointed if you miss out on this one. Stunning job GOLD.
You Too Must Die
I Do My Own Stunts
Come With Me
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