Inner Stream - Stain the Sea
Frontiers Records
Gothic Rock / Metal
11 songs ()
Release year: 2021
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Alex

No label probably has as many bands on their roster as Italian Frontiers. Over a hundred currently signed up collectives, and over five hundred releases throughout their history, Frontiers is one prolific juggernaut. Not only is the label active, it also tries to branch in multiple directions. While having melodic metal at its core, Frontiers has bandwidth to stretch from hard rock to prog to AOR to classic heavy metal. The label also likes to discover new bands and give them the original boost, to give them flight.

Inner Stream is one of those new bands, although it is neither progressive nor classic heavy metal. The band’s founder is Argentinian female singer/composer Ines Vera Ortiz. Having started as a singer for local to Buenos Aires power metal acts, Ines together with her brother Jorge, decided to move into a different, dare I say, more commercial, direction. Teaming up with keyboardist Guillermo de Medio (who helped to produce Tarja Turunen) was certainly a notable moment, but to further bolster Inner Stream Frontiers assigned legendary mutli-instrumentalist and in-house producer Alessandro Del Veccio to help with Stain the Sea full-length debut.

To call the album “metal” of any sorts will be a stretch, even though Ines longs for a heavier sound. The best description of this heavy gothic pop music I can come up with is less ambitious and less adventurous Lacuna Coil. Keyboards, if not dominating, are very prevalent (Massive Drain), but guitar solos color up these songs (Massive Drain), or extend them and add substance (Dance with Shades, title track). Here and there industrialized touches make some of the compositions heavier (Hunt You), and up-tempo guitar chug (Fair War, Last Drink) bring out comparisons to numerous Finnish gothic rock bands. The songs on Stain the Sea are short 3-4 minutes bursts, they rarely change directions or tempos, but they make subconscious effort not to overstay and wear out their welcome. Or, maybe the flight to safety is conscious here, given that even song titles almost pointedly contain very few words and lack complexity.

Ines has a nice gothic maven voice, from operatic to soft and dreamy. She can hang around, enveloping like a cloud (Drown Me), or come through with a little passion and angst (Dance with Shades). Mostly even keel throughout the album, Ines knows what she is doing, supported by the team of professionals, and Stain the Sea is a quality album, but only if your idea of heavy music is pop melodies converted into proxy metal via sound wizardry and heavy production.

Killing Songs :
Alex quoted 70 / 100
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