Album Reviews

Album review: Sharone – Morbid Illusion

Sharone is probably more of an insider term as for now. The musical project originated 2014 in the US metropolis Denver by a female vocalist named Sharone, who later on decided to build up a whole band. To this day they are not one of the established names in the female fronted scene yet, but they undoubtedly share this fate with lots of other good bands.

Speaking of good, so much should be said in advance: The fourth album of Sharone, „Morbid Illusion“, is definitely worth listening. Having to admit that I never heard of that band before, I am pleasantly surprised. In terms of musical style, the band moves somewhere between Evanescence, Lacuna Coil and elements from the metal area, surely not easy to describe. In my opinion, the classification as alternative/dark rock is at least not wrong, but thinking in stereotypes has never been my style. In any case, a dominant and multifaceted female voice, powerful guitar riffs, but also modern elements seem to form the basic structure.

„Morbid Illusion“ contains 10 songs, which are comparatively short, so that the album has a playing time of only around 35 minutes. But ‘brevity is the soul of wit’, to quote Shakespeare. The opener, „Left in the Dark“, already shows what the listener can expect in the next half hour. Hard guitar sounds, driving drums and powerful melodious vocal lines. This song made me wanting more – and there was more to come.

The second song, „Fade Away“, is in no way inferior to that. Equipped with double bass drums, a catchy chorus and Sharone´s outstanding voice, this song is really fun. With a playing time of over 4 minutes it is also one of the longer songs on the album. Sharone proves her impressive vocal range, including highs and lows – that woman has what it takes. Although she sometimes sounds a bit like Sharon den Adel, her awesome voice is still recognizable.

This is followed by the single „Can We Pretend“, in my opinion one of the best songs of the album. What a catchy hymn! And once again Sharone shows how variable and multifaceted her voice is. Moving into the soprano range and even the use of growls – apparently there is nothing that the attractive lady does not master. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find out whether the she had professional vocal training, but it sounds like this. „Pinup Doll“ starts with keyboards and turns out to be a solid, moderately paced song. Almost needless to mention: The vocals are simply amazing. Also the guitar parts are well done and remind me a bit of some Iron Maiden stuff. The song has only one weakness: It’s too short, they could have made a little bit more of it.

The next song is called „Screaming Into Oblivion“ and is about depression, a topic that Sharone apparently personally experienced. A difficult topic, but one that is musically implemented in an impressive way. The beautiful melody and the emotional chorus ensure that the song is one of the peaks of the album. The string arrangements and the softly spoken vocals at the end also create an extraordinary atmosphere. Well done!

The work continues with „Project“, in my opinion another exceptionally good song. The oriental flair, the increasing tempo and the driving double bass drums make the song outstanding. Maybe the heaviest song on the album with a grandiose, explosive ending. After that I had to take a deep breath and I was almost grateful for the next song named „Serenity“, a rather slow song. With piano arrangements, a high voice range and even nasty screams this song turns out to be very varied.

„Diamond“ is the latest single from „Morbid Illusion” and is well worth listening to. The characteristic features of the band are clearly recognizable, with Sharone once again convincing with a stunning vocal performance. Critics could claim that the song sounds a bit like pop music, which is maybe the reason why it was selected as a single. However, this melodic and catchy song definitely convinces me. 

The album ends with two comparatively moderate songs. „Trapped“ can be described as a ballad, which increases in tempo and intensity over the course of the song. Sharone´s  beautiful clear voice fully comes out and there are some goosebumps moments that I cannot deny. The finisher, „Dying Out“, is rather atypical for the album in terms of style, but it is still a charismatic one. It is a song that is characterized by a dark, mysterious atmosphere. The use of synthesizers intensifies this effect. Sharone´s voice sounds very soulful and fragile, almost desperate. In my opinion a successful end of an album, which made a strong impression on me after just a few runs.

In conclusion, I state that „Morbid Illusion“ is a high class musical creation, considering that such a band certainly does not have a high budget. To be honest, I really hope that Sharone soon will be able to establish themselves, because there is a lot of potential behind it. I am particularly impressed by the incredibly strong vocals, the precise powerful guitar work and the catchy melodies that immediately entered my ears. In addition, there is a clear and powerful sound, the production of the album is not objectionable. I also recommend the official music videos of the singles, that can be watched on YouTube. It´s worth it, especially „Diamond“.

ALBUM REVIEW (3)

Release date: May 28, 2021
Label: Devil Inside Records

01. Left In The Dark 
02. Fade Away
03. Can We Pretend 
04. Pinup Doll 
05. Screaming Into Oblivion
06. Project
07. Serenity
08. Diamond 
09. Trapped
10. Dying Out

Review by: Christian Flack

 

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