ISIS CHILD – Strange Days (2013)
German label YesterRock is known for bringing us excellent re-issues & remasters, but every now and then they also throw some new material on the music market. One of them is quite unknown French female fronted Melodic Hard Rock act ISIS CHILD and their first English-lyrics album “Strange Days”.
This record was completed in 2011 and almost silently released the same year, and now YesterRock via their new distribution associate is pushing up Isis Child’s “Strange Days” with a fresh second CD press.
Back from the US where he spent 12 years playing in New York and New Jersey scene, Freddy Mazzucco (guitars, songwriting & production) decided to return to the French Riviera and start his own band. Together with female vocalist Nathalie Pellissier he founded Isis Child and released debut ‘Ailleurs’ in 2008, sung in French.
But Mazzucco figured out the group needed new material in English to reach Melodic Hard Rock audiences world wide. Nathalie took vocal lessons from the Belgian Magali Luyten (Beautiful Sin), perfected her diction, and even helped with some arrangements.
The result is the really well crafted 12-track “Strange Days”, a female fronted Melodic Hard Rock recording with a modern production showing a clear nod to the ’80s sound, sometimes rough around the edges to keep things impactful and energetic.
The whole music is conducted by Freddy’s sharp guitar riffs, adorned with classic keys and sustained by a solid rhythm section. Nathalie sports a voice with lots of power and authority, standing tall throughout almost as the Egyptian goddess Isis of the band’s name. Her register is clear and accent free.
The CD kick straight in with “Let’s Take A Walk”, a tune that instantly grabs your attention. There’s a bigger than average production but it’s the vocal stint of Pellissier that shines grandiosely and the quality spins forward into “Dancing”, an American orientated rocker slant with funky and harder rockin’ influences springing to mind.
“Can’t You Hear Me?” is a semi-midtempo that heads back to the classic dazed period of later seventies akin earlier Heart, throwing out Free and Bad Company style licks and vocal harmonies, while “I Love The Way” is an enjoyable muscular semi-ballad including acoustic guitars into the mix and a soulful vocal performance.
“If You Wanna Be Mine” adds some AOR touches via keyboard / synth infusions and the way verses are constructed, then “It’s Always The Same” is one of the most pure Melodic Rock tracks (and one of the best here) with cleaner guitars, prominent bass and a bouncy hook.
“Looking For The One” blends a classic American melodic line with a style recalling Chasing Violets but more edgy and meaty, mainly due to Pellissier’s powerhouse singing, very well harmonized all over.
Some soulful riffage from Mazzucco introduces title track “Strange Days” that glue perfectly to the vocal performance, accented during the strong chorus again by multi-layered background vocals. Mid-tempo, quite modern but AORish, “Even If” is a steady rocker featuring Natalie’s coach Magali Luyten guesting, there’s a nice atmosphere throughout and a melodious solo.
The mood is mellowed on “Someone” complete with a beautiful lead vocal delivery that goes hand in hand with the driven, inspired guitar work leading into closer “Stop Looking Down On Me”, a slightly bluesy melodic rocker fading out the disc gracefully.
There’s not much traditional Female Fronted Melodic Hard Rock acts out there nowadays, and fortunately Isis Child is a really good band carrying the style’s flag proudly.
On “Strange Days” Freddy Mazzucco succeed for the most part writing songs in this particular genre trying to add an original touch to them, arranging the tunes focused on melody but not losing the edge and the energetic delivery.
Of course, he has an ace up the sleeve in Nathalie Pellissier, a terrific, powerful and colorful singer with a remarkable personality, who, fair to say, steals the show most the time.
01. Let’s Take A Walk
03. Can’t You Hear Me
04. I Love The Way
06. If You Wanna Be Mine
07. It’s Always The Same
08. Looking For The One
09. Strange Days
10. Even If
12. Stop Looking Down On Me
Nathalie Pellissier – Vocals
Freddy Mazzucco – Guitar
Robert Geoffroy, Julien Spreutels – Keyboards
Alain Rinallo, Hugo Adam, Mathias Lechartier – Bass
David Zecca, Chris Drouin – Drums
Magali Luyten, Alex – Background Vocals
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