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The Particles were founded in London, England by a multinational trio consisting of Ash, Nayla and Sabina. Thanks to their powerful mixture between hard-rock and ethnic sounds, much is being said about them.
Before you continue reading this review, you should watch the video for "Taken Away" on YouTube. It may just throw some light into how a group of people have, on their own and without any help or give-aways from the big lords in the industry, achieved success on the alternative music market. Taken Away has won many awards at various American and British film festivals. And it's not just the critics that love the music video. Its mystic symbolism and its post-apocalyptic vision of hell have touched audiences far and wide.
Let's move on to music. It's not really necessary to invent new electronic devices or upgrade well-known musical instruments to be able to create a new sound in rock music. Why not go for something that was used five thousand years ago in a completely different part of the world?
The instruments that await to be unearthed can be used in many ways: a few sounds may be used as samples (experimentally or played backwards) to fill in the background of a composition. An original resonance may become a part of an arrangement with a solo, or indeed counterpoint melodic and harmonic accents.
Ethnic motifs have been successfully incorporated into metal music before by bands like Sepultura, Nile or Avalon. However, it's a well-known fact that the more traces of ethnic sounds are found on an album, the more an artist will be associated with a scene that they do not necessarily want to be linked with. They find themselves in a bit of a pickle, then.
However, The Particles are not afraid of being labeled or "boxed". For whatever sounds influence them now, there's no guarantee that they'll always be there. For The Particles, music evolves. And as a band, they find nurture in as many backgrounds as possible. This is how they have colored this primarily rock driven track entitled "Taken Away" with Indian, Persian, Arabic and Turkish native instruments such as the Sitar, the Daf and the Ney.
This song opens Voices, their debut EP released in 2011. It's filled with one male and two female vocalists, while the singers Nayla and Sabrina sound much more predatory than Ash sometimes. The lyrics were written in an illustrative way, so "Taken Away" becomes memorable thanks to the melodies available in both the choruses and refrains. There's a high probability you won't get this song out of your head during the next few hours after playing it the very first time. The core of the song is based on elemental rock instruments (bass, guitar, drums). Interesting and contrasting guitar riffs stay in feedback with the vocals, while the whole thing is peppered with more-than-interesting Oriental spices.
The motifs played on the Sitar glue the two opposite sides of this well-thought-out and short song to make it silk-smooth.
In these days of multi-media information, to see is as important as it is to hear. The Particles clearly understand this, and the high-end visuals they use has made the Particles be perceived and memorialized as a part of the mystical world they create. Moreover, the band seems to be in the loop when it comes to opportunities to present their sound and visual effects to a wider public. Opportunities that help them build international recognition without resorting to the scandals that many other artists use as promotion.
Knowledge of the Internet, planning and constant activity undoubtedly help them reach out to new listeners. Experimenting with ancient instruments as well as forging new collaborations that broaden their range of artistic efforts should bring expected and highly anticipated results soon.
(Katarzyna ‘NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Magazine, February 10th, 2012. Proofreading: Scott M. Owens)