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Capricia - Fooled by the Hush CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.00 | 2 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Fooled By The Hush' - Capricia (7/10)

The Melodic Revolutions label has been distributing some great bands recently. The latest one I have had the pleasure to listen to has been Capricia, an Israeli band listed on their site as 'theatrical metal'. After devoting several evenings to their debut album 'Fooled By The Hush', I can say with confidence that 'theatrical' is the best adjective to give this music. Although I went into it admittedly expecting something along the lines of Dream Theater-clone metal (as I do with virtually every new prog metal band these days), what Capricia delivers is something eclectic, vital, and ultimately exciting as hell for a listener who has become increasingly disillusioned by the copycat nature of much metal these days. Although the execution of their sound is still quite rough at this point, I have very high hopes for this band's future.

In a somewhat odd move for a debut album, Capricia has offered us a double-disc effort. While the double album format usually translates into a two hour monster, each disc falls around the twenty five minute mark. All of the music could have comfortably fit on one disc, but there is good reason to keep the two halves separate; more on that point later. Even a brief skim through the included album booklet indicates that Capricia are deeply influenced by the dramatic arts. Each of these songs tells some sort of story, although some of them get a little abstract. On one hand, the symphonic metal opener 'Recline In The Fire' tells a rather literal interpretation of the myth of Icarus and Daedalus. On the other hand, the mini-epic 'Chaotic' is open to the listener to make heads or tails of it; much of Capricia's lyrical content revolves around their narrators feelig some sort of mental or emotional strain, and the delivery usually reflects that. Speaking of 'Chaotic' once again, there is a duality between female and male vocals, the latter of which given a diverse range of parts, from deep melodic singing, to death metal rasps, and even an eerie sprechgesang. In this sense, Capricia's music often reminds me of Italy-Slovenian legends Devil Doll, and their haunting, theatrical way of delivering vocals.

Although this is rightly labeled as a progressive metal record, there are few of the conventions that one might expect from the typical act of the style. For instance, although the bombastic symphonic metal style is used to back up the female vocals (provided by Naama Waisel and Shelly Sheaffer), they do not follow the typical route of 'metal diva' wailing of Epica or Nightwish sorts, but stick to a more laid back sound. Shelly's voice often reminded me of Bjork, and although it was strange to hear her voice put together with metal, it does a lot more for me than another bland female-fronted symph metal band would have. Instrumentally, 'Fooled By The Hush' is gifted with Capricia's admirable instrumental skills, although I found that the majority of the impression I got from the music was from the vocal performances and beautifully arranged songwriting.

Although Capricia have a rare, unique sound to them, I felt that, from the first song onward, they were not nearly as successful in terms of how the material was actually recorded. Although the performances are not obstructed, 'Fooled By The Hush' suffers from a surprisingly weak production, surprising if only because it is an excellent record in virtually every other sense. As well, 'Fooled By The Hush' does not feel like a start-to-finish album to me, but rather two stalks of the same root. The self-titled disc delivers a set of songs that follow their distinctive 'theatrical metal' sound, whereas the second disc offers listeners '24', a twenty four minute epic that follows a slightly less weird sound, but arguably sports a greater sound and recording. Although both discs only amount to fifty minutes altogether, it was very clever of them to keep the halves separate, as if they were two EPs. There are elements of the avant-garde dramatic flair in '24' and sounds of more traditional prog metal in 'Fooled By The Hush', but they ultimately give quite different experiences, and putting them on different discs gives a selection. Think of it like a meal; if you are getting two types of food in a meal, putting them on separate plates will keep them from affecting the other, and let the eater, er, listener choose which they want first.

I really hope to hear more of Capricia's music. Although 'Fooled By The Hush' does not translate into a truly excellent album in its final form, the potential is there to create something remarkable. What I'm hoping is that the production issues will be lifted on their second time around, and finally, the work of these inspired musicians will get the frame it deserves.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |


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