I always love the Female Symphonic Metal scene since 2010 with my love of early Within Temptation, Edenbridge, Amberian Dawn, Ancient Bards, Stream of Passion, and Edge of Paradise to name a few. It’s been a good while since I’ve done a review on that genre. Now there is this amazing band from the state of Texas. A father-daughter team called Worhol. It’s this combination between of not just Symphonic, but Power Metal and with a few festivals and mentioned in the Houston Press and in Europe also, they are amazing.
Formed in 2013, Larry and her daughter Ashley Worhol wanted to pursue their dreams in music. With a classical background, they went to work and released their first music video entitled, The Darkness and worked on their debut album released last year entitled, The Awakening. Recorded and mixed at Red Room Studios and Sugar Hill Studios. Alongside guitarist/keyboardist Larry and Ashley on Lead Vocals, they brought along Craig Malinowski on Bass Guitar and who also did the album artwork.
And featured musicians including; Cellist Matthew Dudzik, Violinist Noel Martin, Bassists Mark Andes (Spirit, Jo Jo Gunne, and Heart) and John LeCompt (Evanesence), and drummers Foxx Duke, Ethan Brown, and Tyson Sheth. I was completely spellbound the moment I’ve listened to their debut album. Ashley’s voice resembles the styles of Sharon Den Adel, Sabine Edelsbacher (Edenbridge), and Anneke Van Giersbergen while Larry Worhol himself, I can imagine him following in the footsteps of Arjen Anthony Lucassen, Brian May, and Luca Turilli.
There are some centerpieces on the album that I’ve picked five of the tracks that you might want to take note of. Rage and Revenge which is an instrumental track, features Larry’s shredding as his guitar like a battering ram hitting the doors down with a powder keg that is ready to erupt. As Foxx Duke and Larry carry the torches of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal with an orchestral twist by elements of Judas Priest’s British Steel-era and throwing in some Jimmy Page and K.K. Downing combinations that will get heads banging with the Deep Purple sound.
The rumbling drumming paced on Bowing Before You done by Duke himself, it features both Matthew and Noel creating the tension on their cello and violin as while we are witnessing the pain and suffering that this character is going through, is begging forgiveness. Ashley nails it down on her vocals and you can feel her pain and knowing that the lyrical structures in the song, is letting the listener know that it’s up to us to decide what happens next in the story. Will the person forgive her or not.
We, The Abused starts with a futuristic introduction from Larry’s heavier riffs and the drumming is a galloping thunder. It deals with being the subject of abuse and learning how to defend yourself and fight back, knowing that you won’t be the subject of being another puppet being slapped and bruised. It’s a difficult subject to tackle, but Ashley just nails it down doing the double vocals.
I love the mid-fast tempos with the ascending midsection as Ashley sends her vocals up into the heavens that you can imagine the styles of Within Temptation’s Mother Earth-era as if it’s a continuation of the song Caged but following in the lead and format of the composition. Jurisdiction which is another mid-fast composition, it has some amazing sections between the guitars and string section that styles with the thumping drums like a pounding heart going at 120 beats per minute and the idea of begging for forgiveness is too late and the decision is made for karma to happen on the loved ones they hurt.
And the song is almost done is a ballad-classical approach as if it is done in the style of the Crack the Skye-era of Mastodon. As I’ve mentioned about The Darkness, which closes the album off, well it is now one of my favorites. I love the synthesized keyboards and the powerful riffs and Ashley’s arrangements that carry the symphonic styles in which sends shivers down the spine between the rhythm and vocal compositions.
After listening about two or three times of The Awakening, Worhol have taken my grand support of what I’ve listened to from beginning to end. They will be performing at the Last Concert Cafe in Houston next Saturday at the Last Concert Cafe for the Space City Music Festival.
I hope they will continue to do more in the years and years to come. If you love as I’ve mentioned, Female Symphonic Metal, then check out Worhol’s The Awakening. You will not be disappointed.