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(48:15; Progressive Promotion Records)
Sammary are a new German band, although at the time of this album it was a studio project with Sammy Wahlandt not only composing the material but also playing every instrument (apart from a kunan, a type of zither) while the vocals were by Stella Inderwiesen, Larissa Pipertzis and Marie Stenger. In the new setting Sammy provides drums, Stella the vocals, and there are another five musicians to fill out the live sound. Released last year, this certainly does not feel like a multi-instrumentalist solo project but is very much that of a band working in a modern prog style, bringing in influences from Metal and Wave when the time is right. It is also highly focussed on the performances of the three singers, with the music really a vehicle for them. However, one of the potential issues of any project where it is dominated by just one person is the lack of quality control, and the issue here are the actual songs themselves. Sammy is working in an area that one may think of as being dominated by the likes of Porcupine Tree, Radiohead and The Pineapple Thief and then they have brought in vocals performances which would not be out of place with the likes of The Gathering or Within Temptation. The issue is there is little which really commands attention, so the listener starts to wonder how much longer there is to go and what’s for dinner? It is not a bad album at all, but instead of being monochrome it contains large elements of grey, and while there are some nice passages here and there, they could do with more edge and bite. It may be that working as a full band will bring those elements to the fore so I will look out for the next one, but this one is very much middle of the road.
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