Name: Helena Kotina
Associated Acts: Daffodil
Personal motto: Live life to the fullest! Go for what you are dreaming!
Current plans: After some great shows, Daffodil are now in the studio working on their first full-length album, which will be released later this year.
– 10 QUESTIONS WE ASK EVERYBODY –
Metal Divas: Please tell us what got you into music and describe your early days and the journey this far to be guitarist:
Helena: Things started back when I was about 10-11 years old and I felt the need to listen to some music (till that age I hardly listened to any music). I started trying listening to some pop-styled songs that were pretty popular at that period, but they really seemed meaningful to me. One of my older brothers was a fan of classic rock music and I remember myself sitting in the room next door observing what he was listening to. Yellow raven – Scorpions and Stargazer – Rainbow were some of the songs that were enough to prove to me that this was the right route to follow. After a few years listening and shifting through some more bands, I finally came along to a Scorpions DVD called “Humanity”. Immediately I realized that music was what I wanted to do. After begging my parents to get me started on guitar lessons, finally at the age of 14 I got my first Electric Guitar. Till now, the guitar and music in general, is my first priority.
Metal Divas: In your opinion what is the essence of music in general:
Helena: Expressing your feelings and having music as a good partner through every stage of your life.
Metal Divas: Describe any “before the show” ritual:
Helena: Nothing very special until now, just having a drink in the backstage, doing my warm up and saying my prayers!
Metal Divas: What is your most memorable moment of your career:
Helena: Every step you are making forward is something that you’ll remember, ’cause it takes many things to do every step. I think the most memorable was the show we gave two monts ago in Athens alongside Diary of Dreams. Everything was how it should be. The crowd, the atmosphere, the sound, everything was amazing.
Metal Divas: What is a rule — whether it’s a law, societal standard, or moral code that exists that you think should be broken:
Helena: Something that’s specific to my country, the government expects you to work your ass off and get by with a salary that puts you immediately below the poverty line.
Metal Divas: Name 5 things you can’t live without:
Helena: 1. Guitar
5. Good food
Metal Divas: Share any funny story while on the road or any crazy request received from a fan:
Helena: When you’re on the road, cause of the enthusiasm and energy, there are a lot of funny moments. I think, one of the funniest was when we had two concerts in raw but in different cities that they were far one from the other. There was a fan we met on the first concert and the next day he was at the venue of the 2nd concert even before our soundcheck and when we saw him, he just said ”Hi, it’s me again”, he asked for a t-shirt and then he just disappeared. We still don’t know who he was!
Metal Divas: What do you do to keep your skills in good shape:
Helena: I always keep doing exercises for my fingers, always from low bpm to high bpm, even in days when there aren’t many hours available to practice, I just do my usual exercises.
Metal Divas: Please give any advice to young aspiring guitar players who wanna enter the music industry:
Helena: Keep your eyes always open, don’t ever hesitate, cause nobody knows better than you what you have in mind, work hard and don’t take anything for granted. Keep in mind what experienced people tell you, but don’t let that stop you from trying things yourself.
Metal Divas: Ten years from now you will be…:
Helena: A rockstar!
– 5 RANDOM QUESTIONS WE ASKED HELENA –
Metal Divas: What makes you bored?
Helena: Sleepy and coward people
Metal Divas: Can you blow bubbles with bubblegum?
Helena: For sure!
Metal Divas: Why aren’t blueberries blue?
Helena: They aren’t???
Metal Divas: Do you have any secret family recipes?
Helena: Of course, but they won’t be secret anymore if I write them here, will they?
Metal Divas: What if Batman gets bitten by a vampire?
Helena: I guess he’s screwed. I mean the vampire.
The gates of Hell are open and As Angels Bleed are storming out taking no prisoners with their superb Vampiric/Gothic metal! To tell you I am impressed would honestly be an understatement. I am in awe. Sydney (AUS) based duo Von Lehmann and Avelina De Moray is the haunted force behind As Angels Bleed. Make sure you remember that name as they will definitely be on the frontline of all things Vampire/Gothic metal in the future.
Two years in production and As Angels Bleed released their self-titled debut album in early 2013. People who are already familiar with the works of Vampire-inspired, Gothic artist Avelina De Moray can imagine the sounds of As Angels Bleed. For all newcomers, get ready to be very pleasantly surprised. To make a long story short, just think of temptation and seduction dressed in a pompous, theatrical atmosphere with thousands of hellions luring you into sonorous vice.
That’s exactly what stays in mind with As Angels Bleed as a whole, the predominant sinfully atmosphere under the veils of darkness and nocturnal ecstasy. It’s not just the heavy-duty guitar riffs, the prodigious vocals and charming keyboards but the way all of the above blend together and create clairvoyant and marvelous compositions. The subsistence of church bells, choir psalms and whispers throughout the record abet the band in establishing a cryptic, occult-like sensation which is strongly amplified by the Vampiric martyr Avelina De Moray herself.
The opener “Sinfully Yours” will captivate your soul, thanks to the sacrilegious voices of The Choir of the Dammed and Von Lehmann’s tight guitar riffs in combination with Avelina’s irresistible voice which is a perfect intro to “Desire“, one of the highlights of the album. “Let me show you what death tastes like” says Avelina in a bare, lascivious way disarming your senses in the blink of an eye leaving you helpless but to adore her dazzling vocal hymns. The melodies in As Angels Bleed are immense, endless and stay in memory for what it seems eternal. Exceptional Gothic harmonies and Vampiric themes are the trademarks of this band and something that I am sure many will try to clone in the future.
“I Drown” follows next with church bells opening this Gothic metal anthem which is the first power ballad of the record and one the best songs on the album. This song has a definite radio-friendly vibe without compromising or being mainstream for the masses. It feels as if it has been carefully chosen to lure the listener into the Vampiric world of As Angels Bleed. “Driven To Flames” speeds up the tempo, featuring some very nice growl male vocals in barter with Avelina’s lead voice. “Lumiere” slow things down again and make for a very emotional track of one pursuing love. The Choir of the Dammed still present to devise the nebulous atmosphere we have been listening all along.
“A Love Worth Dying For” is next, a song that questions what would we sacrifice for love. Avelina’s stunning vocals once again steal the show in combination with more of the growl male voices in the background. My personal favorite follows next, “Carfax Abbey” – just an amazing tune. Avelina’s vocal melodies in this one are exceptionally melancholic, nostalgic and eerie while at the same time The Hells Gate Symphonic Orchestra forges a delicate and graceful atmosphere. “Bloody Kisses” kicks in and it sounds as if the band specifically wrote this song to be performed in big arenas by thousands of screaming fans. Still in Gothic paths but with an almost Doom-like grief and affection.
The last song on the record is called “Beautifully Decayed” and it’s a little over 10 minutes long, perhaps a bit too much for my taste but nevertheless a solid composition. Avelina De Moray shines once again and the entire track has a Tristania/Draconian remorse. In general As Angels Bleed awaken memories of bands such as Lacuna Coil, The 69 Eyes and Within Temptation, even HolyHell in times, but without being a mime. In fact, for a self-released debut album As Angels Bleed manage to develop their own sound and that’s quite admirable.
Overall As Angels Bleed is an original and well produced album, which makes for an exquisite first introduction of the band. Von Lehmann and Avelina De Moray possess genuine talent which are capable of transforming into magnificent compositions. Most definitely one of the best Gothic metal albums of the year and by far superior of what many new bands release nowadays. Avelina delivers a vocal performance that many well known singers would wish to execute and that alone is a reason to buy As Angels Bleed. I hope they get signed by a major record label soon and get the support and recognition they deserve.
RATING: 8.5 / 10
“As Angels Bleed” – Track list:
01. Sinfully Yours
03. I Drown
04. Driven To Flames
06. A Love Worth Dying For
07. Carfax Abbey
08. Bloody Kisses
09. Beautifully Decayed
As Angels Bleed is:
Avelina De Moray – Vocals
Von Lehmann – Guitars
Frank Macri – Drums
Jack Savage – Bass
Gothic metallers Sirenia released “Seven Widows Weep“, their new video taken from their upcoming album “Perils Of The Deep Blue” set for release on June 28th via Nuclear Blast Records.
Band leader Morten Veland comments: “In April we went to Serbia to shoot a videoclip for the song ‘Seven Widows Weep‘. We’ve been working with the Icode team again, this is the guys that also did the videoclips for our first two videos; ‘My Mind’s Eye’ and ‘The Other Side‘. We had a great time in Serbia, and the recording sessions turned out great. Now the post production is finished as well and we are very excited to share the video with our fans. We think that the guys at Icode did a great job and made a video that serves the song perfectly. The band is very pleased with the video, and we hope that you will enjoy it as well. Cheers!”
“Perils Of The Deep Blue” track list:
01. Ducere Me In Lucem
02. Seven Widows Weep
03. My Destiny Coming To Pass
04. Ditt Endelikt
05. Cold Caress
08. Stille Kom Døden
09. The Funeral March
10. Profound Scars
11. A Blizzard Is Storming
13. Blue Colleen