THROUGH YOUR EYES
Release date: 7 December 2018
Everyone is familiar with the name Marcela Bovio, the sparkling Mexican soprano based in the Netherlands who is well-known for her melancholic style and emotional vocals, as well as her works with popular Dutch bands such as Ayreon, Stream of Passion, and currently MaYaN, knows to expect the unexpected! Never content to rest on her past achievements, Marcela consistently explores new territory with every project, and the upcoming album, “Through Your Eyes”, is no exception. This new, chamber/baroque pop record is an outgrowth of her first solo effort, “Unprecedented”, which was created from an enormously successful crowdfunding campaign that garnered 448% of her goal amount.
When I had interviewed Marcela over the summer, she gave us an insight to the concept behind the album: “This album is really special, because I wrote each song based on a story or theme by a different person. There are 11 songs, based on 11 different people and 11 different stories”. “Through Your Eyes” is the result of a perk offering that was available to fans who donates a certain amount of money during her previous crowdfunding campaign.
The Edge of the World
Here to Stay
Thorns and Roses
The Silence before the Storm
Into Her Eyes
The songs on the record combine the delicate elegance of classical music with the captivating vocal melodies and uncompromising emotion of Marcela’s metal and Latin roots. Erik van Ittersum contributes piano, while violin and cello duties are handled by Ben Mathot and David Faber respectively. Recorded live in Sandlane Recording Facilities and produced by Joost van den Broek, this melancholic, yet hopeful, collection is some of Marcela’s finest work. However, her goal in making this music was not to garner accolades for herself; she states that her hope is that “Through Your Eyes” will lift listeners out of their daily cares and worries and take them on an emotional journey into these unique stories. “Through You Eyes” releases on 7 December 2018, and will be available through online distributors and through her website.
We begin with “The Edge of the World”, starting the album with a very melancholic chords from the piano, Marcela, singing in a soft manner of the lyrical contents of someone’s determination about following a special one. The piano and half of the quartet expands the sound with determination,playing as the story tells how far and wide they will go in the world, no what dangers lies ahead of them until toning down at end as it comes to a close. Next song is “Scientist”, a story about artists and scientists coming together and philosophizing about the world in the 19th century, based of a fan who is chemist. The piano and bright vibratos of the violin playing the main melody along with mezzo-forte cello underneath gives the theme of contemplation as we’re the scientists and Marcela is the artist who joins us for a drink. As the lyrical contents raises more question, the listeners are taken into a spiral of instense classical music as we become baffled while trying to solve the answers to the riddles of the ast cosmic universe. No one is born a hero in “Roardin”, a very uplifting song that comes out of a mellow introduction as the catchy chorus in it's warm atmosphere and comforting voice gives listeners a sense of reassuring encouragement we all need and time to become a hero in our own quest. The track is filled with very passionate playing and emotional singing. “Icarus”, myth about Greek’s “fallen angel”, we are immediately introduced the slow rhythm from the piano and voice, the tale unfolds as we get the sounds of ambition from the violin and cello as the eponymous character, the son of an inventor, dares to fly near the sun with wings of wax and feathers. As the warnings are ignored due to ecstatic and ability to fly, we're met with tragic sounds of Icarus’ fall into watery grave.
“Here to Stay” starts with cello drones and the striking ethnic style vocals in the background. The legato playing into the first verse gave me warm feelings as her haunting vocals switches to soprano singing and with the piano strengthening the vocal melodies. Near the halfway mark, I hear another voice under the main vocals, and I realize it’s her younger sister Diana who announced as a special guest in this album. Diana's voice is equally beautiful but yet distinct as her tone is brighter, and with Marcela's melancholic/dark side, it's best of both worlds! The very talented sisters duo makes this track a powerful highlight of this album and I’m sure this will most played by fans and happy to hear Diana’s singing voice again. Following is “Magic Powers”, a short jazzy-like track with funk piano playing and snapping, showing how versatile Marcela can be in different styles of the music spectrum. “Remember Me”, a romantic song that is very beautiful yet sad as we are given a slow piano introduction and echoing vocals, but ambience is changes as the song picks up tempo that almost put me into a dance. And speaking of dances, the violin was a beautiful highlight of this track, the instrument dancing along with the voice in an harmonious accord while being accompanied by the piano, nearing the end, the songs fades as the dance is now over, and the speaker makes the promise to remember the time that has been shared together.
“Thorns and Roses” and “The Silence Before the Storm” are two similar sounding track displaying the more of the Latin roots of Marcela. The voice really shines as Marcela projects those signature metal power belts of hers and the controlled classical vibratos. “Into Her Eyes” is the softest track on the album and with the breathy vocals, it makes the song very intimate and raw. The last song, “Desde Adentro”, starts with an intense buildup with the trills of the violin and the cello as the piano is coming down hard with single quarter notes, until a beautiful melody hatches bringing goosebumps down my arm. The song tones down as the soft Spanish lyrics smoothen your soul with the pizzicatos and the bright piano playing. The main melody of this track makes it's mark as the perfect role in the album's ending along with Marcela's beautiful, yet soaring vocals.
“Through Your Eyes” is an elegant piece of work, another beautiful non-metal album I have reviewed this year. I myself who is also fond of classical music, especially from the baroque style, I definitely enjoyed this album very much like her previous solo work. Marcela never ceases to amaze me on what she can do in music, whether it's from classical, to rock, to metal, Marcela always add that special touch that makes her songs a beautiful masterpiece. As our former writer Laili said in her review of “Unprecedented”; ‘she’s not just a singer, but a musician’, and I couldn't agree more with that statement. I also want to give to praise to the 11 fans who help provide the album with such interesting stories, and the wonderful musicians that really brought the music to life, fleshing out these prospective as I enjoyed listening to each track. I'm sure that fans who loved both versions of “Unprecedented” will love this album.
I thought on giving the album a 9,5/10, but listening to the album a second time, my attention to detail really made appreciate more on how well the lyrics and music was put together by the fans and musicians on this album giving each their own special theme, and decided to push it up to a 10!
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Photos by Emilie Garcín:
Through Your Eyes line-up:
Marcela Bovio – vocals
Erik van Ittersum – piano
Ben Manthot (Ayreon) – violin
David Faber (Dudok Quartet) – cello
Diana Bovio – guest vocals (track 5)