Sometimes, no matter how well you think you know your local music scene, you suddenly find you don’t know it quite so well as you did, as something comes completely out of left field and makes you ask “where the fuck did that come from?”.
In this case, I had been aware of the name Selene for a wee while, but they hadn’t really ventured much further onto my radar than that… until this second EP found its way into my hugely overcrowded inbox. Of course, being the Ireland editor of this esteemed website, anything from this part of the planet we call mosh automatically goes to the top of the priority list – and, on this occasion, I’m particularly glad it did, as ‘Paradise Over’ is a damn fine little opus.
The first thing that strikes you about this six track offering is its combination of fragility and power: opener ‘Facing The Mirror’ starts off with a beautiful piano intro which is quickly pummelled into submission by the punishing opening riff before Shonagh Lyons’ soaring yet breakable vocal line floats in over the top with the genteel ease of a siren luring unsuspecting sailors to their doom. The mesmeric melodies crash out of the speakers like breakers against the unforgiving basalt of the North Coast, while the harmonies broil and seethe under the main current, ebbing back and forth and drawing the listener ever deeper into this truly great listening experience.
Lyons possesses a truly magnificent voice, and it’s extremely well showcased to its full range here – from the power of the opening track, ‘Facing The Mirror’, through the ambition of ‘Still Dreaming’ and the title track to the haunting closure of ‘Hourglass Fading’.
If you’re a fan of Within Temptation, Leaves’ Eyes and other quality fronted female symphonic metal acts, then you’ll lap this up… Northern Ireland’s best kept secret is now well and truly out of the bag.
Facing The Mirror / Not Enough / Still Dreaming / Paradise Over / Fade Away / Hourglass Fading
Recommended listening: Paradise Over
‘Paradise Over’ is released on Friday (October 24).
Find out more about the band, and keep up to date with developments at https://www.facebook.com/SeleneNI