Download "Collide" (from the album Darker Days)
Bursting unto the female-fronted metal scene with their debut album "Embrace the Storm" in 2005, Stream of Passion has since transformed from a mere project into a full-time band. The follow-up to their debut, "The Flame Within", was released through Napalm Records in 2009. And after two years of intense touring and an impressive string of memorable shows and festival appearances throughout Europe and Canada, they are now ready to present you their third offering: "Darker Days".
Beside Mexican vocalist Marcela Bovio, the solid line-up since "The Flame Within" includes talented Dutch musicians Martijn Peters (drums) Johan van Stratum (bass), Eric Hazebroek (rhythm guitars), Stephan Schultz (lead guitars) and Jeffrey Revet (keyboards).
"Nothing compares to playing live! We live for performances," says Marcela, who moved from Mexico to Holland to be closer to her band mates. "The more we play together, the more we enjoy sharing that energy with each other on stage. It's a wonderful thing to be able to share that feeling with the audience and see them enjoy the moment as much we do. That is why it was extremely important for us to be able to bring that same energy into our recordings."
Eager to find a way to incorporate the live spark in their latest release, the band looked for extremes by exploring different styles and assimilating them into their sound. It resulted in heavy guitar-driven songs with solid drums and inventive bass, framed by raging pianos and eloquent string quartet arrangements. All of this is led by Marcela's mesmerizing vocals. Her Latin American roots brought daring Latin rhythms and styles into the mix, as well as Spanish lyrics and the unique sound of the bandonion. Lyrically, Marcela explored the dark times we live in; a world figuratively in turmoil. More literally, the title "Darker Days" refers to the difficulty Mexican-born Marcela had adjusting to the much shorter and darker winter days of Northern Europe, affecting her mood more than she could have ever imagined.
"For me, this album is not only an emotional outlet," explains Marcela, "but also a way for me to keep connected to my roots and my old home in Mexico. While writing the new songs, I drew a lot of inspiration from all those wonderful Latin rhythms and styles that Mexican folk music and the Argentinean tango have to offer. That's where we got the idea of incorporating a bandonion in some of the songs. It gave them a very special touch! They might seem like two very different worlds, but that deep emotion and intense passion are present in all these styles. These are precisely the qualities we think are essential in music; so in the end, it made a lot of sense to bring them together."
The combination of these extreme musical styles delivered tracks like the album’s opener "Lost". On this particular song, heavy riffs and touches of tango come together to create a song full of passion and drive. The songs "Our Cause" and "Darker Days” stay true to the old Stream of Passion style, while combining Spanish and English lyrics, as well as Latin-inspired rhythms and melodies that reveal a new dimension in the band's style.
Contrasts can be found throughout the album. "The Mirror" and "The World Is Ours" are loaded with heavy, grinding guitars and upbeat rhythms. The ballad “Spark”, however, includes warm melodic passages, where enchanting piano melodies guide Marcela's moving vocal lines. In tracks like "Collide" and "Broken", the band brings together both ends of the spectrum: a true rollercoaster of emotions.
For the writing and recording process, Stream of Passion collaborated with well-known Dutch producer/songwriter/ arranger Joost van den Broek (ex-After Forever, Ayreon, Star One), who has been very close with the band since its beginnings. ”No other producer could have understood the path chosen by the band as well as he does”, says Marcela. With Joost completing the team, "Darker Days" was certain to have a solid and modern production, lifting the music to a higher level.
In order to find the perfect sound for each instrument, the recordings of the album took place in different studios throughout The Netherlands. The drums and string arrangements were recorded in a live room with top-of-the-line equipment at Sandlane Studios (Star One, Stereo). The rhythm guitars and bandonion were laid down at Graveland Studios (Revamp, Autumn), where producer and guitarist Arno Krabman created the perfect conditions to achieve a massive guitar sound.
"Darker Days" embodies the ambition of the band to grow further and expand their musical horizons. Marcela adds, "This album takes us yet another step closer to finding our voice. Over the past years we've grown incredibly as a band and now, more than ever, we are anxious to get back on stage and share these new songs with audiences all over the world."
Stream of Passion is:
Marcela Bovio (vocals, electric violin)
Martijn Peters (drums)
Johan van Stratum (bass)
Eric Hazebroek (rhythm guitars)
Stephan Schultz (lead guitars)
Jeffrey Revet (keyboards)