Bronze Honey debut album “FREE” – album review and exclusive interview

Imagem

There are no borders when it comes to great music. Meet Bronze Honey the Israeli alternative rockers that bring us their powerful debut album “Free”. 

When most people think of Israel they don’t easily associate rock/metal with their music. The question is: did they look on the right places?

Bronze Honey is an Israeli band that has a pretty distinctive but also addictive style behind them. The band blends all the good elements from rock, dark gothic metal/rock and even a little bit of industrial rock on their sound. This is one of the various reasons we can’t stop replaying their debut album “Free” at our headquarters.

The band consists of:

  • Polly Gutman – Vocals
  • Uri Dov – Keyboards & Back Vocals
  • Uri Menachem – Drums
  • Dimitri Alperovich – Guitars
  • Itai Leshed – Guitars
  • Hagai Levin – Bass Guitar

We had the pleasure to interview the band and we can say that on top of being a great band they also are incredible good people with a humble heart.

This is a joint interview/review conducted by our main editors:

Review: Nadine Silva
Interview: Midorin
Tracklist:
1 - Lies
2 - Convicted
3 - Promise
4 - Bee
5 - As free as the wind
6 - Casus Belli
7 - Fiend
8 - Butterfly
9 - So what
10 - Revanche
11 - Melancholy
12 - Wheels of Capitalism
13 - Casus Belli (Acoustic version)
lies
Track by track analysis:

1 -Lies

And we start off the album. “Lies” is such a strong song from the very beginning. Raging guitars, the electronica led by the synths and fierce vocals right on the mark give us kind futuristic feel on a song that could easily be a head banger especially on the chorus. Standing out on this song are the raging guitars with that amazing guitar solo on the outro, the drums are aggressive giving emotion to the song to add to the powerful vocal work done by Polly. The synths are on top of their game on this one and quickly drawn us to the song. This song is so rich instrumental wise that it turns out to be one of the best songs in the album. 5/5

2- Convicted

“Convicted” is a great song and we’re not telling you instrumental wise. The lyrics give us an idea, shows us a message and that is also the forte of this band, meaningful lyrics together with incredibly good instrumentals. Talking about the song on itself: the guitars lead the way from the very beginning of the track. The drums are impeccable and the vocal work is perfect. Once again heavy electronica influences on this one. 4/5

3- Promise

A song that could easily come out of a Depeche Mode album. “Promise” is song that won’t get out of your heads for a while. It’s a slow song in comparison with the previous ones but this one breaks the pace in a good way. The synths are quite reminiscing of some of Depeche Mode’s work which is a good addition to the song enriching the already rich sound. The vocal work leaves us without words, you can name whichever song you want, the vocal work is always done close to perfection. The guitar solo is haunting and incredibly well executed. The outro has an excellent work with both drums dictating the tempo battling with the guitars. The bassline is also incredibly good adding the final touch to this song. 5/5

4 – Bee

Upbeat pop/rock vocals on this song. “Bee” is a song that doesn’t forget the bands influences. We get the heavy riffs, aggressive drums and upbeat vocal work on a song that made us head bang a little, we sort of head banged to the whole album but we had to mention on this song especially since it sounds like it couldn’t be a head banger. Starting up with a bee flying close to us “Bee” kicks off. Great style on this song, a little different from the previous songs, especially the way the vocalist sings this one, but still a great song. 4/5

5 – As free as the wind

What a beautiful song. The piano intro along with the raw, sweet vocals lead this emotional song. It’s a ballad and such a beautiful one it is. The melodic guitars and the piano that give us a bittersweet feeling, the song is so beautiful just by itself but to add to this we have the choir and the strings quartet adding the final touches to this overwhelming song. Great mixing with the orchestral parts and the piano is played in so a soft yet giving that sad sorrowful feel. 5/5

6 – CASUS BELLI

Starting off with a child speaking “Casus Belli” impresses with its heavy industrial influences especially in the intro of the song leading to the first verse. The soft almost like eerie piano works together with the melodic guitars giving us that dark nordic metal elements that most of us are craving for on metal album. We get to hear some screamo parts at the beginning by the back vocalist Uri Dov almost telling us that we’re in for a ride and what a ride it is! Great addition to an album that is already sounding incredibly well and we’re only in the middle of listening it.   5/5

7 – Fiend

The intro of the song might come of as a bit confusing for some since there’s a lot going on in the background but as soon as the guitars enter it turns out to be a good rock song with great riffs and distortions. The drums dictate the slow rhythm of the song, more specifically in the pre-chorus. Strong vocal work once again. 4/5

8 – Butterfly

The bassline is one of the highlights along with the guitar chords. The piano and the drums dictate the slow pace on this song. “Butterfly” has an intro with giving some middle eastern feel instrumental-wise. The guitar riffs and drum work are amazing. Powerful song especially on the chorus where all instruments kind of explode creating this heavy rock piece. 5/5

9 – So what

The synths and voice manipulation on the beginning of the song sound incredibly good. But when you think that the song will stay with that kind of electronic new wave style the song takes a turn in the chorus. Impressive guitar work and props to the bassist that once again has showed that he can play great basslines time after time. The drums are addictive setting a danceable vibe to the song, perfect harmony between the electro and rock influences. Strong chorus and guitar solo. 5/5

10 – Revanche

The intro is overwhelming, simply magnificent. And what a good way to start a song! We’re presented with a strong guitar solo right in the beginning. “Revanche” is one of those strong, powerful songs that while being a slow paced can imprint such a great amount of energy into us. Great bassline and at some point it sounds like the guitar is crying. Amazing technical solo. 5/5

11 – Melancholy

A battle between to great voices. Uri Dov gets vocal duty on this one together with Polly. “Melancholy” has great guitar work in the beginning with those melodic chords making the instrumental piece incredibly soft yet beautiful, the solo is so simple but draws so much emotion from it, perfect choice opting for a less aggressive solo. Great duet and instrumental. The whispering words in the end of the song close perfectly the curtain on this one. 5/5

12 – Wheels of capitalism

Heavy electronica influences with the synth pads on a song with heavily political influenced lyrics. This song follows a more alternative rock style, a good change of pace on the album. The idea behind using fragments of tv news at the beginning of the song was a good one. The synth pads once again give of that Depeche Mode vibe. Great solo in the outro. 5/5

13 – Casus Belli – acoustic version

If you thought the full band version of the song sounded great you haven’t heard it in acoustic. The highlight in this version is by far the vocal work, the vocal range is incredible. Flawless performance. 5/5

Final rating: 5/5

A pretty good album that, more than anything, follows a more alternative metal genre besides the fact that we can find so many influences while listening to it. Electronica, especially the more industrial oriented tracks like “Lies” sound amazing; the heaviest songs give that dark gothic feel especially on the vocal work and usage of the piano. This is a band that is debuting with this incredible album and we can say that, besides the fact of the band ranging between many genres which can throw off some people at the beginning, they will easily grab your attention with their raging guitars, mesmerizing drums, powerful vocals and synths. Rock with a flavour of electronica and metal done right is what we can say of this band to summarize a bit our explanation.

“Free” is a powerful, addictive and fierce release. We’re completely blown away by their quality, this band shows a lot of potential and in our opinion you should check them out because they’re well worth a listen.

Impressive top notch vocal work by Polly. Her vocals are melodic, soft  and beautiful. The perfect voice that slightly reminds us of Sharon Den Adel from Within Temptation, Tarja Turunen (former Nightwish) or even Amy Lee from Evanescence. The control/precision of the vocals is one of the things that impressed us from the very beginning. Polly will hit all the higher and lower notes and sounding so well as some of the top vocalists mentioned before.

Guitars: They sound so, so good. Heavy raging guitars with incredibly melodic solos grabbing our attentions from the very first time. Just name the song, the guitars sound well every time.

Drums: quick, uptempo with many double bassed parts (we’re suckers for this kind of drum playing). Addictive beats that lead the way for all the other instruments.

Piano/synths: beautiful work throughout the album. Uri is one hell of a pianist! Melodic parts he does them, trickiest parts also, uptempo leads as well. The instrument that usually blends everything together and enriches the sound of the band is here, performed close to perfection. So many times that we thought we were listening to Depeche Mode just from listening to the synth parts.

Bass: as melodic as all other instruments, played with an incredible precision sounding great on the slowest songs on the album. Well, who doesn’t like a good bassline? The bassline in songs like “Free” and “As Free as the wind” are mesmerizing.

Now it’s time for the interview. The band was kind enough to provide us with this interview and we thank them for that.

Interview

Uri (Synths/piano and back vocals) & Polly (vocals)
Uri (Synths/piano and back vocals) & Polly (vocals)

First of all can you guys introduce the band to us? Can you talk a bit about yourselves and what’s your role in the band?

Uri: Bronze Honey was founded by Polly and myself in 2011.

From the first day we decided not to lie to ourselves which also meant:

Never create something that people like, but you don’t.

Polly: Music & creation has been always an important part of my life, but not always the life gave me a real opportunity to dedicate my time to it. Founding Bronze Honey was a bold decision which revised my life priorities.

What genre of music do you consider your work to be?

Uri: We create a mix of rock, metal and electronic. More important issue for us is not to follow existing genres/bands and to find our unique approach.

Any bands/artists that influence your sound?

Polly: Jeff Buckley – for his emotional, heartbreaking voice and melodies which give you Goosebumps. Regina Spector – for her deep approach to lyrics.

Uri: Faith no More- because of their attitude and boldness to blend genres. Actually it’s hard to determine our sound influences. We should ask our fans 🙂

When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?

Polly: Both of us have walked a twisted path. Both of us realized that creating songs is what we want to devote ourselves to. Luck brought us together…

How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?

Polly: We’ve tried different genres, the decision was not obvious, and we still believe we are on the way.  Our lyrics became more mature too.

Uri: Working with the other guys from the industry has made us to be more critical and demanding towards ourselves. Something magic happens when you involve other guys in the process. You just should be aware of choosing the right people for suitable positions, and not forget the main reason you are there for.

Bronze Honey is quite an original band name. How did you come up with it?

Polly: These two words incorporate different worlds. It’s a mixture of organic and industrial materials, emotions and intellect…   and of course resembles my hair color. 🙂

Who writes the lyrics and what are the main themes or topics treated/developed?

Uri: When first signs of new song come, we meet together to discuss, to sing it. We decide which direction it should take. The album lyrics deal mainly with 2 issues:

  1. Personal/emotional (‘Promise’, ‘As free as the Wind’, ‘Melancholy’)
  2. The Man vs. the System (‘Lies’, ‘Bee’, ‘Wheels of Capitalism’, ‘Butterfly’)

We also deal with other topics such as: vegan (‘Convicted’), multicultural conflicts (‘Revanche’), war (‘Casus Belli’) etc.

You recently released your debut album titled “Free”. Where does the title come from? What was the concept behind it?

Polly: The word ‘free’ is featured in different aspects throughout the album. This word is hidden in the artwork cover message. How can we be FREE to decide, to choose, live our own way? That’s the main question of the album.

If you could describe your album in one sentence how would you describe it?

Uri: Important issues are displayed underneath a spicy & colorful cover.

Can you tell us a bit about the process behind the making of this album?

Polly: Sometimes a new song starts with music (Uri’s case), sometimes with lyrics (my case).  We meet together to discuss new ideas, play and decide which direction a new song should take. Back to June 2012, after gathering enough demos we started a recording process. We invited two young but ambitious producers and the rest of the band to participate. It took a year and a half to polish and record all our material.

Bands always tend to shift their sources of inspiration while writing/recording an album since the process behind it can take months or even years. What were your inspirations while making this album?

Uri: We are very curious and this life provides us unceasingly with new experiences.

Polly: It’s an amazing process to transfer your personal, confidential thoughts into a song which becomes a property of all…

If you could choose a song on the album as your favorite what would be?

Polly: ‘As free as the Wind’ & ‘Promise’ because of the personal background & emotional charge. ‘Convicted’: because of the vegan issue of the song.

Uri: ‘Casus Belli’, ‘Revanche’- because Polly’s amazing vocal performance, and their lyrical message.

What is the band up to recently? Are you guys on tour? Any shows planned overseas?

Polly: Our current lineup is built of 6 bandmates including Uri and myself. We’ve just released our album and booked gigs to promote the album. We are happy to get positive reviews from all over the world, and touring overseas is something we eagerly expect.

If you could tour with any band, which would it be?

Polly: We welcome any serious band in alternative rock genre, as long as they aren’t smokers.

Bands usually have problems when they’re starting off. What has been your biggest challenge so far as a band?

Polly: To find our unique sound.

Bronze Honey is an Israeli band. How has been the fan support in your home country and how has been the overall reaction regarding the debut album?

Polly: We’ve got our core fans base that wanders with us from show to show and hope that the release will multiply its rows. Singing in English makes us rather international than locally oriented band.

How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have your music released on iTunes or any other online music store?

Uri: We decided to allow all our fans to download the album for free using our Facebook page. It will last for a couple of weeks from the release date. Afterwards our music will be available on iTunes, Bandcamp, etc. Physical CD’s are also available for sale. People can find 4-5 tracks on Youtube as well.

Any final words?

Polly: Fight for your dreams, guys!

– You can find the band at:

https://www.facebook.com/Bronze.Honey

https://soundcloud.com/bronze-honey

http://www.reverbnation.com/bronzehoney

http://www.youtube.com/user/BronzeHoneyBand/videos

Advertisements

Author: Nadine Silva

Reviewer and News editor at The Hand That Feeds HQ since 2012. Based in Portugal. Translation graduate. Hobbyist piano player.