ISSA – Sign Of Angels [2010]

ISSA_SOA1Country Norway          Style Melodic Rock/AOR

Rating 85/100

Band Members
Isabell Øversveen – Vocals, Nobby Noberg – Bass, Peter Huss – Guitars, Tim Larsson – Keyboards, Uli Kusch – Drums

Tracks
01. Angels Crying (4:01), 02. I’m Alive (3:26), 03. Give Me A Sign (3:34), 04. River Of Love (4:10), 05. What Can I Do (4:56), 06. Closer (3:17), 07. Unbelievable (3:20), 08. How Will I Know (4:27), 09. As I Live And Breathe (4:12), 10. Flying High (4:07), 11. It’s Not Me (3:37), 12. Fallen Angel (4:08)

Profile `Sign of Angels’ is the brand new -debut album of Norwegian singer Isabel Overseen. At first glance, Issa comes out as a complete pro; a melodic voice with a rough edge, gorgeous looks and undeniable sex appeal – and for that matter rightfully deserves a contract with one of the leading melodic rock labels.

I suppose the natural concern for any experienced fan is the extent to which `Sign of Angels’ is a rock record as opposed to a pop record. For that matter every fan of the genre should be reassured that this album is indeed energetic melodic rock that often enters hard rock territory consistently demonstrating guitar riffs and lengthy solos, big drumming and melodic keyboards, all under a rock-solid production. So Issa’s debut comes out in the most honest and rocking way; If I had to compare the sound of this album to a recent melodic rock release that would be Harry Hess’`First Signal’. As a matter of fact the songwriting team of the two releases is very similar featuring Tom and James Martin, Soren Kronqvist and Thomas Vikstrom.

The recording line up features guitarist Peter Huss, bass player Nobby Noberg, key player Tim Larsson and drummer extraordinaire Uli Kusch. So there is no question that `Sign of Angels’ features substantial compositions performed in the most passionate way. Favorite tracks include `Angels Crying’, `I’m alive’, `Closer’ and `How will I know’. The only minor objection, if any, is that Issa gives proof of incredible vocal abilities and unique tone, without however demonstrating the full length of her voice. In other words one would expect more vocal variations-different approaches from one song to the other, (such is undoubtedly within her capabilities) yet her style remains rather consistent throughout the album.

Still, `Sign of Angels’ stands as a breath of fresh air for the genre and for female fronted melodic rock/AOR in particular; `Frontiers records’ have definitely found a gem of an artist in the young Norwegian singer. The album is great and the potential undeniable- I am under the impression that her follow up album will be outstanding. `Classic Rock’ UK magazine (issue 150) marks this album with 7/10 commenting: “… a slice of Scandi-Rock that has already been compared to `Brother Firetribe’ and `Treat'”.

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Nikiforos V. Skoumas

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ISSA - Sign Of Angels [2010], 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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