Voices from Within

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Israel has not been a major-league player in metal the way that England, the United States, Germany, and the Scandinavian countries have been major-league players in metal (at least as of 2008), but some noteworthy metal bands have come out of Israel -- and one of them is Distorted. The fact that Voices from Within is metal has not been disputed, but exactly what type of metal Distorted play has been debated. This 2008 release has been called everything from progressive metal (even though Distorted don't sound anything like Dream Theater or Rhapsody) to doom metal, although it's probably best to describe this melodic yet forceful effort as a mixture of alternative metal and gothic metal with extreme metal references and hints of Middle Eastern music. Lead singer Miri Milman favors an angelic vocal style that is right out of goth metal -- if Milman made a guest appearance on a Lacuna Coil album, she would not be out of place -- while guitarist Raffy Mor contributes some extreme vocals that range from death metal's "Cookie Monster" growl to black metal's sinister rasp. Distorted aren't the only metal band with a clean vocals/extreme vocals contrast, but different bands do it different ways -- and on Voices from Within, the recipe is about 90 percent clean vocals and ten percent extreme vocals. Mor's growling and rasping is really a side dish, but it is a side dish that works well and does a lot to give this 52-minute CD a "Beauty and the Beast" appeal. And the Middle Eastern references are also a plus. Voices from Within is mildly inconsistent, but overall, this is a well-executed outing from this Israeli alt-metal/goth metal unit.

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