Label: Self-released Releasedate: 23/03/2020
Constraint was founded in 2011 as a symphonic metal cover band. Their first release is the demo “Illusion of a Dream” (2012), followed by their first full-length “Enlightened by Darkness” in 2016. After an important line-up change in 2018, Constraint released the single “The Big (B) End” in June 2019, then the second single “Golden Threads” and a cover of “Slave” by Leprous. They began a Kickstarter campaign for their second album; its release was 23 March 2020. The new songs show a musical and stylistic maturity seasoned with progressive undertones.
Their first track on this album is called ‘Remanent’, starts of with an intro filled with violin gradually leading into heavy guitars, bass and drums playing away – almost like a warm-up exercise.
‘Einmal ist Keinmal’ (Once is never) starts of strong with heavy guitars and drums leading into Beatrice’s vocals, soothing and clear. Despite her best intentions she cannot hide the fact that she is Italian, it shows in her pronunciation. The song is in English which is confusing because of the German title. Very good track where her voice compliments all the instruments.
The third track is called ‘Golden Threads’. The first half of the track is a ballad but then eventually the guitars, bass, strings and drums enter and it transforms into a pleasant track, but unfortunately nothing special. ‘Eerie Euphoria’ however is one of those that grabs your attention with a very strong intro, built on a high tempo and a strong composition.
In ‘The Big (B)end’ you are lured in by piano and eerie sounding vocals. This appears to be a symphonic ballad, well until 1m42s where the heavy guitars wake you from your dreamy slumber. The track becomes a more symphonic/folk track where string instruments give that little bit extra to this little number.
‘Omniscient Oblivion’ is a very interesting track. Strong and more heavy/female fronted metal influences make this – in my opinion – the best track of the album.
‘Broken Threads’ continues this trend and make this a very interesting sounding composition where guitar riffs are combined with string instruments with Beatrice’s vocals. ‘Leben is Streben’ (To live is to strive) changes the pace to a fast track, away from the symphonic metal and into more female fronted metal. Different influences make it a good track and it’s a good listen.
The last track is called ‘Coercive’, distorted guitar intro flowing into guitar/bass riffs – again with strings accompanying. This 4.10s instrumental track is quite meditative and a peaceful end of the album.
Personally I expected more of this band/album. It is a good listen, but they do not seem to have found their niche or their own sound. Constraint could well develop into a more elaborate band if they figure out where they want to be and find their sound.
Vocals: Beatrice Bini
Guitar: Matteo Bonfatti
Violin: Davide Borghi
Bass: Gabriele Masini
Keyboards: Enrico Bulgaro
Drums: Alessandro Lodesani
01. Remanent (instr.)
02. Einmal ist keinmal
03. Golden Threads
04. Eerie Euphoria
05. The Big (B)End
06. Omniscient Oblivion
07. Broken Thread
08. Leben ist Streben
09. Coercive (instr.)