Female-fronted metal bands are hardly a new commodity. They’ve been a staple of the gothic metal scene for 10-plus years, with groups like Nightwish, After Forever, and Theatre Of Tragedy plying their craft. Even so, female metal singers are often held to a higher standard than their male counterparts due to their perceived rarity. German metal merchants My Inner Burning sadly fall victim to this with their sophomore outing, Eleven Scars.
The songs all hold together nicely, from the dance-inflected opener “Masquerade” to the synth-infused strains of “Electrified,” even the obligatory slow jams “When I’m Gone” and “Homesick.” There are some real rockers here too, as the band gets your head banging on “Gone Wrong” and “New Breed.” However, one can’t help but feel that we’ve heard all this before.
Unless a female-fronted metal band goes all-out strange like Diablo Swing Orchestra, or shatters preconceptions like Arch Enemy’s Angela Gossow, there’s an unavoidable comparison to be drawn to hard rock bands like Evanescence. Indeed, it’s often easy to believe that this IS an Evanescence record, with vocalist Becky Gaber’s consistently harmonized vocals punctuated by guitarist Jorg Janssen’s bellows over quite standard metal riffs with a bit of keyboard. Everything sounds great, and it gets your feet moving, but there’s always a little voice in the back of your mind shouting, “I want something surprising!”
There’s nothing wrong with this record, especially if the “lighter side” of heavy metal is your bag. Fans of Straight Line Stitch, especially, will want to check this out. Keep an eye on My Inner Burning, as they’re definitely on the right track, and they can definitely bring the rock. Still, it feels like something’s missing here.