Vera : ‘Behind The Light’ is the debut album of a new French band, founded by vocalist/bassist Ludovic Ciszewski after he had built up proper experience in four other bands, amongst them Monolith (as bassist). He gathered a new band around him with experienced musicians as well and consequently it is obvious that these guys are putting down a solid technical performance. One can describe their style as melodic death metal. Before The Dawn and Dark Tranquillity are mentioned as congenial bands of their ilk.
After an atmospheric intro with classical piano and melodic guitar leads, we get nine energetic songs with the raspy, rough screaming vocals of our moving spirit. In the end it starts to sound quite monotonous, also because the vocals have the nearest approach to metalcore sometimes. On the other hand we have modern, dynamic songs with loads of sure-fire solos of guitarist Jean-Michel Cervoni. A good example is the up-tempo ‘Evil In Me’ that darkens during a semi-spoken part, but next it continues in a fine way with bass intermezzo and fast and furious solos. The gothic tinged ‘Red Eyes’ has some flaws though, too chaotic. In the very hectic ‘Faces’ some clean vocals and piano bring in any refreshment.
The album was recorded in a home studio, but mix and mastering were done in the US by producer Kevin Pandele at the Room Studio Damage. Nothing to complain about the production, but the song material is average, except the last song ‘Black Soul’. Here is more than just energy all over. A sensitive intro with piano and guitar before bursting out and a fine balance between harsh and clean vocals. If they will follow that road on their sophomore album, the score will be higher. Now it is not bad, but too many songs are mediocre without having a proper impact and so-so vocals.