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Only Fate Remains are a Dutch female fronted metal band. As I've strongly contested on many occasion previously, there exists no such genre of female fronted metal despite what some journos and fans would have you believe. Rather, metal bands with female vocalists are so stylistically disparate that they can't be generically bound by the same label (The Agonist, Arch Enemy, Leaves' Eyes, Unexpect, Kobra and the Lotus, and Epica all have little in common, to name but a few). However, there are many female fronted metal bands out there that do seem to fit into a stereotype of gothic, sympho-infused rock/metal stylings that perhaps does engender the need for such a genre or, at least, confuse people into believing one exists. Only Fate Remains sway towards such genericism with their latest album, 'Breathe', and, unfortunately, also blandness in a series of compositions that do little to excite or engage my listening attention. Melodies are likeable but, ultimately, not that innovative and tend to wash over me as each track runs its course. Eva Kokken has a powerful voice but is tonally dissonant on occasion in that she wavers ever so slightly when trying to reach certain notes - this in itself doesn't help transform songs' melodic structures into anything verging on captivating, for captivate Only Fate Remains do not. There's plenty of talent evidenced on the album from each of the musicians but the overall effect is abated by some distinctly average songwriting. There are a few 'progressive' twists and turns thrown into the mix, or so the band themselves would have you believe in the blurb on their website, but it's all been done before so we're talking generic rather than genuine progression (ie. not progressive at all). Ultimately, listening to 'Breathe' is a rather unsatisfying experience with few moments where the band genuinely shine in their songwriting (the piano/vocal led passage three quarters through 'Nightly Walks' is one such occasion). 'Breathe' is not a bad album, but nor is it anything that special. I'm sure there'll be an audience ready and waiting out there for this though, from those who demand less innovation from their metal and have more of a proclivity for retrodden genericism. Not for me though, I'm afraid.
Ravenheart Music
Review by Mark Holmes
17th Oct 2011
1) Nightly Walks
2) Fall
3) Shallow Water
4) The Essence
5) The Real You
6) Cravings
7) Lost
8) Heal Me
9) Imprisoned
"Only Fate Remains sway towards...genericism with their latest album, 'Breathe', and, unfortunately, also blandness in a series of compositions that do little to excite or engage..."