A Woman's Diary - Chapter II

Label: Massacre Records
Three similar bands: Imperia/Edenbridge/Leaves' Eyes

Rating: HHHHHHH (2/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Never Again
2. Streetchild
3. Don't Believe
4. Imprisoned
5. Do You Hear My Cry
6. Eg Ser
7. Happy Birthday
8. My Desire
9. Rock In The Sea
10. Silence
11. Angel Maria
12. Goodbye
13. Angel Maria's Poem

Helena Iren Michaelsen – Vocals
Oliver Philipps – all instruments

A Woman's Diary - Chapter I (2005)


Produced and arranged by Oliver Philipps
Mastered by Tom Müller at Flatliners Studio
Cover artwork by Jan Yrlund (Darkgrove Design)

Released 2020-07-24
Reviewed 2020-07-20


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Angel gives us the second chapter in A Woman’s Diary, and behind the moniker hides Helena Iren Michaelsen from Imperia. I have liked what I have heard from Imperia, so there could be reason to be interested in this one as well. It is a biographical album where Helena tells stories from her life and her thoughts, and she tells them in a raw and uncensored way. Things like that has potential to be interesting with the ups and downs of life, peaks and valleys, drama and things, but you need to find the way to tell it and when labels state that there is a message or an album that gives the listener something to think about, that is true but other the thought is about other things than the message of the album, so what about this one?

Musically it is not very forward and not very dynamic, it is mostly pop music with some rockier and metal infusions but in general it is slow and tame songs telling a story about many things. The variation of the songs in style is relatively okay but as the tempo is low most of the way it tends to feel like a very static album where not much happens for over fifty minutes. Kind of like someone’s diary, I guess. Fun that she sings and talks Norwegian in places, that adds something more interesting to the album. The German like accent in Imprisoned is also weird, in fact the vocals are actually surprisingly poor on this album – I think she has sung pretty well on the Imperia songs I have heard but not much so on this album.

I don’t really like this album, it is stale, dull and uneventful. With events like being locked in a mental hospital and drugged as well as some other darker themes there should be room for much more dynamics, but this isn’t at all dynamic just a slow walk towards the end. I find this to be an album that feels like neither this, nor that, or as they so brilliantly say it in French: comme ci comme ça. It isn’t an easy album to get through as it doesn’t really do anything for me, just a tired old story. Sure, it isn’t so bad that you want to vomit or anything, but there is nothing exciting, nothing that catches the attention, nothing that teases the imagination, no real drama, and several songs are terrible.

It is good that she does something different from main band Imperia, but that is about the only thing that is good. The track Happy Birthday is acceptable, but I want to turn off the album before that song. It is really embarrassing to listen to the fourth track imprisoned and I always have to remind myself that I have the headphones on and no one else hears it, but it makes me feel embarrassed for Helena. That song is awful, and the album as a whole is one of the most flavourless that I have heard all year. Kind of a feeble attempt to make something meaningful that backfires completely, I have a hard time seeing that anyone should enjoy this one.