by Aaron Gidney

Metallica fans may recognise the name ‘Trujillo’ – Chloe is bassist Robert’s wife and this is a collaboration between her and New Zealand-born musician, Mark Dalbeth under the name Rav Medic.

Released on Golden Robot Records, ‘Mana’ is the follow-up to their first venture, ‘Lightning Strikes Twice’ and has also been released as an accompanying video.

Chloe is well known as a diverse artist (in every sense of the word), being involved in art, musical theatre and now Hard Rock/Metal.

Once the opening chords and drums fade in with swirling ethereal vocals, the main riff that opens the songs is absolutely immense, with closer interlocking double kicks from the drums. Chloe’s singing approach is an interesting contrast to the power of the riffs, almost floating across the top, offering a nice contrast. It shouldn’t necessarily work, given the dryness and closeness of the mix of the guitars and drums in comparison to the reverb-drenched vocals. It may have added a bit more power to bring the vocals to the front of the mix, however, I suspect this has been deliberately done for artistic reasons rather than badly mixed.

There’s the addition of growled vocals mixed in to the later part of the song which adds a different dynamic and power perhaps that was missing from the front-end of the track, but again, I suspect this a deliberate ploy.

There’s some nice light and shade towards the end of the song, with the track adding acoustics and dropping into half-time on the drums – it’s actually my favourite part of the song and a really nice way to tie up the track.

Given the two strong releases so far from this project, surely an album under this collaborative banner is next? We certainly hope so.


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