"Aion" (Worldchaos Productions)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

It's not often that a Japanese band rises above the clamor being made in the Americas and Europe/Scandinavia. Although Church Of Misery and Sigh come immediately to mind as bands I've heard from Japan, I can't say either one of them is indicative of what Fatima Hill's "Aion" sounds like.

Fatima Hill is a female-fronted metal band that treads more traditional styles of metal often sounding like a power metal band that has absorbed a lot of Amorphis' more recent folk- and '70s inspired material. There's no denying the talent and skills of the musicians who tackle the traditional power-metal style with facets of music and songwriting that shares a lot in common with progressive rock and prog-metal. The addition of the electric mandolin provides for a unique angle on the band's sound that gives "Aion" a lot of depth.

Vocalist Yuko reminds me of Lisa Bouchelle (Mastermind, October Baby), sort of, anyway. In a funny way Yuko also allows me to imagine what Harry Conklin (Jag Panzer) might sound like if he were a woman. Yuko's vocals are quite prominent in the mix and the unique character of her voice adds a lot to the impact of Fatima Hillís overall impact.

With "Aion," the overall impact is a band that is interesting to listen to, but not quite something that I'll pull off the shelf too often.

Fatima Hill is Yuko on lead, backing and chorus vocals, Anjue Yamashiro on 6-string guitars, 12-string guitars and electric mandolin, Takamichi Koeda on keyboards, and Hayato Asano on bass. Akihito Saito was the session drummer.

For more information visit http://www.fatima-hill.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 24 Mar 2019 10:55:52 -0500.