Aesma Daeva is a scarcely known operatic/symphonic metal band from the U.S., surprisingly, who have an exceptional knack for melding the 'operatic/symphonic' metal style with carefully doused doses of light industrial traces.
The Eros of Frigid Beauty is a concept album dealing with Odysseus and The Odyssey and it does a compelling job of portraying the dramatic sentiment of the characters and the storyline...opting for manic bursts of hyper, chugging guitars playing footsy with majestic trumpet flourishes, psychedelic keyboard attacks, beautiful acoustic guitar alchemy, flute cameos, and powerfully reflective piano suites. With its lyrical focus, it has kinship with Symphony X's The Odyssey. However, although both albums deal with the same basic lyrical concepts, The Eros of Frigid Beauty tackles the subject in more of a scholarly vein, as opposed to Symphony X's contemporary rendition of it. When listening to Eros, you get the feel of listening to a college lecture about the subject; alternatively, with The Odyssey the feel is more that of a newfangled Hollywood director's aspirations put to film (I liken it to the contrast of the peaceful, studious atmosphere of a college classroom or auditorium to the 'hustle-and-bustle' mentality of modern life in various respects). Although this comparison and contrast may seem irrelevant, hopefully from this description you won't be duped into thinking you're going to hear another Nightwish, if you're one of those people who can't tolerate tranquility.
It is this tranquility which may turn people off from the band, sadly. Truthfully, this music is better suited to times of reflection and low personal energy levels. For people accepting of different tempos, however, this is a savory delicacy to be eaten suddenly and
If the good music wasn't enough, you can find even more joy and gratification in the fact that the vocalist is very competent. Melissa Ferlaak, the main vocalist, is a tour de force. Although not outwardly expressive in the 'Tarja' sense, she utilizes a keen, calculated
chokehold on vocal dynamics as it pertains to the emotional relevance of the current music being played. It is a common naive fallacy that good music always has good vocals, so when there is such a perfect marriage of these elements, it truly is a call for celebration.
I would highly recommend this masterwork...it truly is a piece of inspired genius. Daeva, hopefully, will enlist in the ranks of the more highly esteemed symphonic acts such as Nightwish, Therion, Stratovarius, and Symphony X in the near future.
Highlights: acoustic guitar solo in "In My Holy Time"; trumpet intro in "Lysander"; piano solo in "In My Holy Time"; industrial-synth plods on "The Eros of Frigid Beauty"; the flute 'jumps' in "Devotion"; choral vocals in refrain on "The Eros of Frigid Beauty"; the reprise of the main melody of "Lysander" in "Overature to You" and the pseudo-thrashiness of parts of it; the furious, syncopated onslaught and schizophrenic orientation of "The Minstrel Song"; and the completist nature, proggyness, and disco/Jamiroquai-like flautist essence of "Lysander II".
3. In My Holy Time
4. The Eros of Frigid Beauty
6. The Minstrel Song
7. Lysander II