Misthaven – Aces Review

Misthaven is a female fronted band from Campobasso in Italy. They started out in 2014 and there have been a few personel changes before they got to the point of this self released debut album. The band describe themselves as alternative rock, listing influences such as Evanescence, Alter Bridge and Halestorm.

I quite like Lizzy and her band, I have listened to Evanescence occassionaly, but don’t recall ever listening to Alter Bridge. When I first did a search for the band the term symphonic metal came up as a description for the band which to be honest, together with this list of influences, didn’t fill me a great deal of hope as that is a crowded genre in which it is difficult to standout.

Against these low expectations, I wasn’t surprised when the first few songs didn’t do that much for me. The more gentle approach during the 4th song “Sunwarmth” changed my mind somewhat. The next song “Won’t Look Back” also has a lighter feel to it, but it isn’t until the straight forward rock of “Melted Past” that it feels the band have started to hit their stride. When we reach “In Time” the vocals are starting to grow on me and it reminds me of Judie Tzuke to conjure up a name from the dim and distant past.

Then the slow piano of “On Springs and Hopes” really showcases the vocals which have just enough edge to show emotion. If you listen on Spotify and let it continue beyond the end of the album, Kate Bush will feasture at some stage and this song does remind me of her. This slower vibe is continued with the acoustic guitar led “Watch Over You” which keeps things simple and builds nicely.

“Here Comes War” combines that light and shade of the preceding track with a mixture of soft and heavy styles which perhaps hints at the direction the band hope to pursue on future albums.

There is a stange combination going on here, the vocalist excels when the music is minimal. The guitarist sounds like he would prefer to be in a 80s metal outfit. It is almost as if you can hear the band working out their preferred style as the album progresses. Everytime I listen to this is takes me a while to get into it, with the second half containing all the highlights for me and when it ends I’m left with a postive impression.