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Gold - Interbellum (Van Records)

By: David E. Gehlke

[7/10] The role of the female singer in metal and/or hard rock has perpetually been a sideshow. That’s just the way it is in a scene dominated by males who usually have only two or three thoughts in their heads, of which are generally food, chicks, and metal. Therefore, it’s natural for woman to be objectified, especially when they’re portraying this sort of overt sexuality that is designed to distract from the porous music (see: Huntress, Butcher Babies, In this Moment, et al). When it’s the opposite, like in the case of Dutch rockers Gold, then confusion or total avoidance possibly comes into play, regardless of how good the tunes are.

Singer Milena Eva is simply “one of the boys” in Gold, teaming up with former The Devil’s Blood guitarist Thomas Scarione for a rock brigade that speaks to more 70’s bar room than occult rock ala TDB or Year of the Goat. Her minor country twang is the capper on a straight, but outside-of-the-box album in the form of Interbellum. As it should be, there’s a major push toward single territory, as heard on opener “One of Us” and especially “Antebellum,” which is perhaps the album’s strongest cut.

The likeliest comparison Gold is going to draw is Heart, which is understandable given Eva’s position as lead siren. There’s not quite the same amount of mesmeric harmonizing that Ann Wilson would use on a regular basis, but Eva gives it her all on “Love, the Magician” and “Gone Under,” where she looms large via some hardcore wailing. And as we noted above, Eva keeps her looks simple and non-flashy, something that with any luck, will help Gold avoid the trappings of female-fronteddom.

Yet, Interbellum lacks the mystique and pizzazz of its competition, for without the sexy female or devil rock angle, a straight-up, ordinary rock band as this might not resonate. However, trend-free rock such as this may very well enjoy a longer shelf life, so chances are, Gold will hang around longer than we’d anticipate.

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