Dark Princess - Stop My Heart

1. Cry
2. Stop My Heart
3. One Last Goodbye
4. Please Betray Me
5. Join Me In Life
6. The Deepest Fall
7. No Pain
8. Close to the Sky
9. Endless Dead Time
10. The Pyre’s Song
11. Nas Bolshe Net
12. Zhestokaya Igra

Olga Romanova (V)
Alexander Lyubimov (G)
Stepan Zuev (K)
Denis Stekanov (D)
Ilya Klokov (G)
Stas Fatjanov (B)

Without You (2005)
Stop My Heart (2006)
Zhestokaya Igra (2007)


Well, sometimes there is a first, and this is the first time I sit down and listen to a Russian band. I have heard a few songs from a Russian band earlier but they really sucked, sounded like Iron Maiden in Russian. This band does not, as you may have already figured out, sound anything like Iron Maiden, fortunately. This is a female fronted band the use some male vocals in the background, even as hard as growling. Otherwise musically they are in the borderline between gothic rock and metal. There are the heavy riffing significant for metal, mixed with a cleaner more rock/hardrock sound with drums that isn’t at all as prominent as drums in metal usually are which is a good thing for this kind of music. What is really focused on musically is the vocals and the melodies.

Looking at the production this is an excellently performed studio work with clear production all the way through, flawless instrumentation as one could expect and really good overall sound. There is really not much to complain about, more than the fact that this album in reality was released in 2006 and is only now coming here to me, thought it comes with the band’s debut album in the package, too bad it wasn’t included in the promotion package.
The songwriting on this album is really good and it makes me really wish that Nightwish had gone in the direction with Anette instead of remaining in the majestic. Not that this isn’t majestic and powerful, but it is so in a more relaxed way and the hole from the poor Nightwish effort is filled by this, and this is truly amazing.

The opening track Cry is fantastic and if it hadn’t been for certain Rage, Avantasia, Ayreon offerings I would pronounce it track of the year, now it has competition. Still it is an amazing track nonetheless. The following track, the title track is almost equally good and they all shine in their melodicness and powerful vocals, I’m really impressed by Olga Romanova, since last time someone said something about powerful female singing on a metal album it was not good at all, this is good and it is good from the opening track to the ending two tracks in the Russian language.

This album is somehow magical and it catches your ear from the beginning and then it will not give it up. The length is good as well, less than fifty minutes is optimal for almost all kinds of music and it appears that this gang of Russians understand that.
Well, the land of evil dictators, vodka, siberia, icy winters have more to offer than just that, there is actually some hope for Russia when one listens to music like this. I may be in love with this amazing readheaded singress that actually has an accent that is not disturbing, the small faults in pronunciation is actually an enhancement and not like all those awful Italian or Spanish singers.

Well there is really not that much more to say about this album, you may preview it on the side if you like.

Finally something worthwhile from Russia, or maybe: From Russia with love.


Label - Mach XX/SPV
Three similar bands - Nightwish/Xandria/Edenbridge
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm