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Music band: Vajra

Music Album: Pleroma

Record Label: Self-released

Song Singers/Perfomers Rating
Inside the Flame Vajra ★★★★½
Almost One Vajra ★★★☆☆
India Vajra ★★★☆☆
Blind Vajra ★★★½☆
Intuition Vajra ★★★½☆
Erode the Will Vajra ★★½☆☆
3.14 Vajra ★★★☆☆
See Through You Vajra ★★★☆☆
Akkord Pleromy Vajra ★★★☆☆
The Apple Vajra ★★★★½

 1. Inside the Flame

 This is truly starting off with a bang. Annamaria Pinna’s voice is captivating, and while she sounds truly angry, she also has a strong sense of melody and rhythm, making for a seamless blend between vocals and music. The piece is hypnotic and very addictive.

 2. Almost One

 A very pretty song despite its heavy nature. While it doesn’t quite have the momentum of the album opener, it holds its own and stretches Pinna and the band’s strengths.

 3. India

 A Nine Inch Nails inspired interlude.

 4. Blind

 The verse throws the listener off a bit, with a lead riff sounding like “Ocean Pearl” by 54/40, but once the dissonant lead guitars come in the mix things take a turn. Pinna’s chorus vocals are fantastic.

 5. Intuition

 One of the more beautiful and mesmerizing tracks on the album. Vajra could do well by exploring this Dead Can Dance style direction in the future. It brings the listener in and connects them to the piece. There’s also some subtle Joy Division influence.

 6. Erode the Will

 A Perfect Circle meets the Cranberries in this track. Some great textures, and the vocals are typically passionate.

 7. 3.14

 This track blends in with “Erode the Will” in a lot of ways, although it’s strong on it’s own.

 8. See Through You

 A break up song. Possibly the weakest link on the album, although it’s not a miss.

 9. Akkord Pleromy

 Abstract and interesting, this ambient interlude displays yet another direction Vajra could go in the future.

 10. The Apple

 As far as what you’d expect from an album closer in the prog rock/metal genre, “The Apple” absolutely delivers. It’s epic, emotionally charged, and all around impressive.

 Album ★★★★★★★½☆☆

Annamaria Pinna strikes me as an intensely serious artist. For one, she worked with some big names on Vajra’s “Pleroma” (Sylvia Massey of Tool fame, Blake Fleming formerly of the Mars Volta) that she no doubt sought out herself. Her lyrics and general approach to the music also comes across as much more honest and convincing than her contemporaries (Evanescense, Lacuna Coil), making her seem more like a female Maynard James Keenan than a typical front woman. There is still room for expansion, and Vajra is somewhere near the point of growth that Tool were at on “Undertow”.  “Pleroma” is without a doubt an impressive debut that should turn heads in metal, rock and progressive circles.

 Check out Vajra’s websites at:  www.thevajratemple.com and http://vajratemple.bandcamp.com.