Sophya - _The Age of Sophya_
(Metropolis Records, 2000)
by: Aaron McKay (6.5 out of 10)
Stop reading if you are interested only in metal; death, black or otherwise. No metal here. What you will find on _The Age of Sophya_ is primarily lacy vocal wisps of dainty blue-drawn shadows. Stretched almost into the fanciful, you could say that Sophya's musical textures, and lack thereof when the need arises, are equitable in an unbiased fashion to what Mortiis lays down in his icy cave under the arctic mountain. Comparatively, like Mortiis, Sophya's mouthpiece, Sonja Rozenblum, is everything and more to the group, in my opinion. Sonja's vocals sound a lot like a much more palatable Israeli equivalent of a mixture including Sinead O'Connor and Dolores O'Riordan from The Cranberries. You almost get the feeling of hollow despondency as you work your way through _The Age of Sophya_'s seventy-three minutes. "Sunshine" exhibits a more masculine vocal approach done by Idan Arutchi, I would assume, one of the only other two members in Sophya. "Sunshine" serves rather well as a base test for other tracks on the CD, showing beyond much doubt that Sonja's whispers are an effective and fundamental component to Sophya's work. _The Age of Sophya_ includes a hidden track, ninety-nine, in addition to a cover of "Inner Station" by French relocated Israeli art-pop, dance-rock group Minimal Compact. Generally, indulging fans of the Smiths, Wire and Tuxedomoon would be embraced by the Sophya camp, I think, but emphatic metalheads should just keep right on reading...


(article published 20/11/2000)

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