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Naio Ssaion | Out Loud | review | metal | Lollipop
Out Loud (Napalm)
by Scott Hefflon
Another quality find from Napalm. Like Evanescence and Lacuna Coil, but heavier on the metal and lighter on the annoying guy vocals (that rapping dumbass in Evanescence, the "I'm constipated" roar of Lacuna Coil). Naio Ssaion are from Slovenia, and being an American, I have no idea where that is, but perhaps it's frosty and bleak, the bare tree branches and frigid air inspiring as much as red wine, solitude, and gorgeous women with chiseled goddess checkbones.
Their debut was sung solely in their native tongue, and this, their follow-up, combines Bif Naked rock with "The Devil Went Down to Slovenia" violin work (not a tack-on, an equal instrument), whisper to a howl female vocals, and a balance of electronic pitter-patter and chugging metal guitars that actually support the song. Very little "this is the heavy part, see? We're not Goth sissies!" or "hear all this fancy/useless bleeping? See? We're not dumb-ass metal fucks, this is thought-provoking art."
"Shut Up" breaks away, a kinda Clawfinger/Stuck Mojo metal rap with stern angel vocals matched by "ruff ruff" metal barks. While rap in my metal is as welcome as peas in my ice cream, the kamikaze violin and Korn-holed whisper-about-to-explode save it as much as rap metal can be saved. Then again, Drain STH fell victim to "throw your hands in the air" bullshit as well, and I still listen to them weekly, half a decade after they broke up.
Imagine a darker Lullacry, a heavier Evanescence, or Lacuna Coil on their best day, and you got yerself Naio Ssaion, an exceptional band sure to be well-respected by undergrounders and overlooked by the masses because of a clunky name and a label that knows how to pick 'em, but not how to make them household names.