I have to admit: I’ve never been a ‘fan’ of this Dutch band. Holland is known for its huge so-called ‘female fronted’ scene, i.e. Gothic, Symphonic or Epic oriented (Heavy) Metal with a female singer, and more than once this country exceeds the international colleagues / competitors easily. In many cases, the Netherlands indeed are spectacular country (I won’t start enlist a selection of bands, because whatever…), but La-Ventura did never please my ear drums or grey cells at all (cf. a full length and an EP during the first decennium of this century).
Imagine my enthusiasm this time. White Crow (forty minutes of duration) took quite a time to be released (in mean time, original member, ex Orphanage’s Erwin Polderman, left the band), but I have the impression La-Ventura did make use of this era to reconsider and restrict in different aspects. And this introspection leads to a new chapter.
White Crow isn’t that different from the past when it comes to the general approach. The album brings catchy, up-tempo Goth-oriented Rock / Metal with a focus on female vocals. Carla Van Huizen’s vocals, however, did evolve a lot, and I am not doing cynical this time. No, seriously, Carla’s vocal timbre did grow enormously, in a mostly positive sense. She still isn’t a second Anneke van Giersbergen (nobody can or will), but in comparison to the past, her voice did maturise and strengthen a lot.
Not only this vocal improvement strikes me. The songs too are much more interesting. Don’t expect massive, obscure Dark Goth-material, but consent with less infantile, less pathetic and less ‘soft’ nonsense from the past. It does not go for every single track, but several (read: most!) songs are as intriguing individually as this band’s best past efforts all together. There’s more variety, there’s more power, there’s more deepness, there’s more honesty, and there’s much more professionalism in different aspects (song writing and performance).
Seriously, White Crow is a pronounced recommendation for those who like their material the Dutch way, but be warned: forget the past, welcome and accept the adapted interpretation of La-Ventura!