With the repeated explosive success of bands like Evanescence, In This Moment, and Halestorm, etc, it is safe to say that the “hot chick fronting mediocre band” cliche isn’t going away anytime soon. That is not to say that every band with an attractive female singer relies solely on sex appeal to sell records – Eva Under Fire and Butcher Babies are female-fronted bands that boast explosive amounts of talent while also having sex appeal. I mention this just to make it crystal clear that I understand that this is a struggle all female musicians face. Bearing in mind, I don’t ever plan to help perpetuate that nonsense by judging, promoting or otherwise adding to said issue by judging female artists on anything other than musical merit. Now with that out of the way, let’s dive into Moscow’s Queen of Sin and figure out which side of the sexy coin it falls.
Queen of Sin is the five track debut of unsigned band Moscow. From the beginning, the band’s influences by comparable contemporaries like In This Moment or Nightwish are readily apparent in the vocal stylings. Unfortunately, that isn’t winning any points in the category of being unique. The album’s first track, “Queen of Sin”, isn’t terrible but is an anthem in self congratulation, so while it’s not a bad tune, it’s also not a great one. It quickly becomes very predictable in its structure and the egotism behind it will likely turn some listeners off. “Nowhere to Hide” is a big step up in many ways. While it is a very standard metal song construction-wise it speaks more earnestly to the listener and gives more of a feel for Tsaritsa’s own vocal flavor. We get more of that in “Black Widow”, which shares the same cockiness of the track “Queen of Sin” but it does so more convincingly, because being badass is a lot more authentic than repeatedly saying “I’m a badass, I promise.” The techno-esque breakdown towards the end is a little awkward but is saved by the quality of the vocal layers put in it. I did have myself a good chuckle at the fact one of the best tracks is called “Black Widow” because if Iggy Azalea had done metal instead of hip hop this is pretty much what I’d expect it to sound like without the talent of Tsaritsa of course.
Moscow does not let the music speak for itself – they’ve added a touch of overproduction and heavy dose of pretentiousness to Queen of Sin. Tsaritsa clearly has powerful vocal abilities and the band itself backing her has talent. Queen of Sin would hit much harder and more convincingly if it were a tad more stripped down. There’s nothing wrong with having hella attitude and in metal it’s pretty much expected to think you’re a Samuel L. Jackson level B.A.M.F. (bad ass mother fucker) when you hit the stage. Stage presence counts for a lot in this world, undeniably. I wouldn’t write off Moscow based on Queen of Sin alone, the potential is there and while the album may not be mindblowing in any particular way, it will find many it appeals to. Future efforts hopefully better show the band’s true colors as they take this learning experience and grow from it, especially when you keep in mind that they aren’t signed. So while the tone here may seem a little harsh, the album isn’t completely dismissible and I would encourage folks to give it a fair listen and forming their own opinion of Moscow’s Queen of Sin
1.Queen of Sin
2.Nowhere to Hide
4.Watch Me Burn
You can follow Moscow here:
Bloodrock Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 axes
Written by Ken Kaizer for Bloodrock Media on 6/29/2017