Artist: Wait Hell In Pain
Album: Wrong Desire
Genre: Melodic Metal
Release Date: September 22, 2017
Review by Samantha Wolstenholme
Female-fronted melodic metal tends to get a bad rap in some metal circles, quite undeservedly as this often runs on the assumption that such bands are simply attempting to sound like carbon copies of genre heavyweights such as Nightwish and Epica, and are not doing a very good job of it. Therefore, it was with great pleasure that I learned that Italian melodic metal outfit Wait Hell in Pain’s self-professed aim is to effect a “modern and experimental kind of metal” with their debut album “Wrong Desire”, as any fresh take on a genre thought to be exhausted and overdone is laudable.
In “Wrong Desire”, Wait Hell in Pain craft a sound that is energetic, dynamic and inherently melodic, characterised by thunderous chugging guitars, catchy choruses and various colourful synth solos. The band’s hard rock meets traditional symphonic metal aesthetic is, for the most part, effectively executed and quite enjoyable. The substitution of synths for classical orchestrations on “Wrong Desire” is the chief element that emphasises the “modern” approach to melodic metal taken by the band. While there are many instances throughout the album in which a synth solo adds a layer of pizzazz to the overall texture of the music, a la Dream Theater, there are moments when such an addition sounds out of place stylistically, such as in the pulsating, riff-focused opening track “The Last Trip”.
The influence of fellow countrymen Lacuna Coil is highly evident, particularly through Kate Sale’s impassioned vocals. Sale’s rock belt is stylistically appropriate for the band’s more modern sensibilities; however, she does have the tendency to over-sing at times when more subdued sections of certain tracks call for a softer vocal approach. This can be grating overall for the listener. That said, Sale’s vocals shine during the notably anthemic moments throughout the album – particularly the choruses of tracks such as album single “Behind the Mask” and lyrical ballad “Rain of May”.
“Wrong Desire” really hits its stride in its latter half, with the engaging guitar work in the defiant and gutsy “You’re Never Gonna Stop Me” building on the punchy riffage heard sparingly in the earlier tracks of the album and adding a welcome edge to the overall sound. The driving “My Confession” contrasts furiously fast, raw guitar passages with sparkling synth arpeggios to pleasing effect, and “New Moon” is memorable for its poignant and powerful chorus, where the addition of harsh vocals beneath Sale’s passionate cleans is particularly effective. The album closes with a cover of Sia’s dance mega-hit “She Wolf”, which though unexpected, is fun and entertaining. Overall, “Wrong Desire” has moments of greatness, and despite some elemental incongruence in their ambitious songwriting, the album stands as a creditable first effort.
7 out of 10 stars.