Sound — 7
Anastasia Kuznetsova, a Russian vocalist/keyboardist/composer, has previously worked with many projects, but since 2008 has focused on her solo project titled 'Arysta'. Previoiusly, Anastasia has worked with The Sundial (Sunbellum), releasing two full length studio albums. Anastasia has played concerts either as a member of Sunbellum, solo, or as a guest musician in Sweden, Ukraine, Russia and Poland. She has shared the stage with such acts as Deadlock, Dominium, Vader and Draconian. '5 Ocean' will be the debut full length studio album by Arysta. '5 Ocean' was recorded in Studio X located in Poland. Guest musicians on the album include Daray Darek Brzozowski (Dimmu Borgir) on drums and Szymon Czech (NYIA and Third Degree) on guitars and bass guitar. Anastasia worked with Alex Trotsak and Natalia Ly on the lyrics heard on the album.
There are 9 tracks on the album which runs in total length for about 37 minutes. The music on the album is really hard to describe, as it does range quite a bit in style. At it's lightest it is very much like World or New Age music. At times the songs on '5 Ocean' are much heavier with a feel almost like Epic Metal, but of course this is in the mood of the music as it does not actually get this heavy. Arysta does an excellent job of producing an emotional context in her music that would normally be conveyed with much heavier music without actually using music that heavy. At times, the music sounds more like classical music, Russian folk music and metal. I found myself enjoying this album much more than I expected.
Lyrics — 9
I would say that probably 70% of the lyrics on the album are English, and the other 30% are not. They non-English lyrics I am assuming are Russian, as Anastasia is Russian. The vocal delivery is immaculate throughout the entire album. I would compare her vocals to Nightwish and Epica, though the music is not as heavy. The lyrics themselves fit the music very well, and the songwriting behind the lyrics is solid. This is really the strongest point of the album.
Overall Impression — 6
First thing, I have to say that 'Out of Silence' is by far my favorite song on the album, and also by far the heaviest song on the album. I don't really dislike any of the songs on the album, though not every song is something I would listen to everyday. While I enjoy world music as a genre, it isn't a genre I listen to everyday. I do like the elements of metal/hard rock that are mixed into the album, and Anastasia's voice is really beautiful. My second favorite song on the album is 'The Path To Her' which just has a really awesome vibe to it. My third favorite song on the album is probably 'Pesnia Olgi', and though I can't understand the lyrics as they are in Russian, the processing done at times with the lyrics is very interesting, as well as a second vocal track that comes in at times that sounds like it is Anastasia whispering the lyrics under her main/singing track. I would like to hear Arysta's future work, and hopefully experimenting into the realm of heavier music, which I think would create an awesome contrast with her voice.