Holy are We Alone

Label: Pride & Joy Music
Three similar bands: Trick or Treat/Rhapsody of Fire/Red Wine

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
01. Circle Of Life
02. Japan : In My Dream
03. Syria: Music My Love
04. UK : Never Say Never
05. Germany : Rebellion Mission
06. India: Farewell To You I (From Father to Son)
07. Brazil : Splinters Of The Sun
08. Hawaii (USA) : Farewell To You II (From Mother to Daughter)
09. Russia : Heroes
10. Holy Are We Alone
11. Universe : A Verse To The Universe

Saeko Kitamae – vocals, keyboards
Guido Benedetti – guitars
Alessandro Sala – Bass
Michael Ehré – Drums

Above Heaven, Below Heaven (2004)
Life (2006)

Derek Sherinian - keyboards (track 9)
Lars Ratz - vocals (choirs) (track 9)

Mixed & mastered at Woodshed Studio
Saeko Kitamae - Producer
Guido Benedetti - Producer
V. Santura - Producer, Mixing, Mastering
Eddy Cavazza - Producer

Released 2021-08-20
Reviewed 2021-09-19


pride & joy

läs på svenska

I don’t think that you can call Japanese metal heroin Seake Kitamae a coward, she followed her musical path from Japan to Europe to make her music. She collaborated with among other Metalium’s Lars Ratz and Michael Ehré, the former unfortunately passed away earlier this year but does a guest spot on this album nonetheless. Ehré is one of the band members along with guys from Trick or Treat and Rhapsody of Fire, Dream Theater’s Derek Sherinian also guests on the album. They claim that Saeko was before her time in 2004 and 2006 when releasing the first two albums, this one she gathered a lot of money for and it became her third album, the first one in well over a decade. The cover makes it looks worthwhile, but is it?

Musically it spans quite a wide range with cultural expressions, language, and also some borrowed parts that vary quite a bit through the fifty minutes the album plays for. It is pop, metal of several varieties with expression of folk and many other things, a wide spanning album plain and simple. They sell the fifty minute playing time, just about. The production is pretty average, it sounds a little bit dated and flat – a lot less dramatic than the blend of musical styles that is heard throughout. Saeko sings well and varies her expression, but I think she should have dared to go a bit more outside her comfort zone, dare to be more emotional as I think that would have benefitted the album a lot. But that is not to say that Saeko doesn’t have her own voice or anything, that she certainly does, and her expression is interesting and fresh even though the sound isn’t. She dares to follow her conviction, and that is something that should always be applauded even if the end result might end up off the mark.

Holy are We Alone is a good album, the songs are interesting and well-crafted all the way through. I think there are many strong songs and elements on this album, the production could have been more dynamic though as a more dynamic sound would have been a strong improvement, and that might have elevated it to a higher level. There are some weaknesses despite the overall interesting feel of the album, a more emotional vocal delivery wouldn’t have been negative either. It is fair to say that while this album is good, and pretty enjoyable to listen to, there is a bit of room for improvements. Fresh ideas should always be applauded and Saeko certainly has a fresh and interesting voice, she just needs to put all the elements together to realise the full potential in her music.

Hole are We Alone can certainly be worth having a closer look at, it is an amusing album with good songs and interesting musical ideas. I like it even though it doesn’t quite live up to its full potential, but even so it is an album that showcases good quality and it will not be disappointing to anyone.