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Asrai | Touch in the Dark | review | metal | Lollipop
Touch in the Dark (The End)
The Asrai are small, fragile, female beings who polymorph into puddles of water when they are captured or exposed to sunlight. It is this frail nature of life that forms the backbone in all of the songs of Asrai, a disarmingly honest blend of prog rock, new wave, and Gothic metal.
Asrai have paid more than their share of dues, and after nearly 20 years of adversity, countless gigs, and a revolving cast of band members, they've finally released their second full-length, Touch in the Dark. The album begins with what appears to be an epic conversation between vocalist Margariet Mol and God himself. "All my questions are asking why," she says. He responds "I don't mind you asking questions, for all and more is yours to know." It's a spine tingling moment.
Margriet Mol's voice - accompanied by sister Karin Mol on drums, Manon Van Der Hidde on synth, Martin Kooy on bass, and Rik Janssen on guitar - is a powerful combination of Ann Wilson and Joan Jett that seethes with emotional resonance when she explores complex dilemmas such as coping with mortality in "Pale Light," or hope in the face of adversity in the title track. A nice touch of poignance in a theatrical world free of arrogance and conceit.