“The Broken Mirror” is the debut album from Cleveland based duo Petals and Thorns. The CD is eight tracks of metal meets chilling ambiance, with just a touch of Goth-Cabaret thrown in. The closest I can compare Petals and Thorns to is Darling Violetta meets Sirenia, although some might disagree. This album was self-produced, self-promoted, and shines brightly at times. I listen to a lot of bands and a lot of CDs, and my assessment of Petals and Thorns is they have the potential to be a major player in the underground scene.
Musically, I loved “The Broken Mirror.” Johnny Thorns does an amazing job of blending aggressive guitars with haunting pianos, and tying both together with irregular drum beats. The atmosphere created by this CD is eerie, sinister, and tension building. “The Broken Mirror” would make an incredible soundtrack for a horror movie, or at the very least, the perfect accompaniment to your next Halloween party. This album builds a dark ambiance that is easy to get lost in.
The vocals, for me, gave me mixed feelings. Mia Petals has a good voice, and at times, raises the hair on the back of your neck with haunting ethereal vocals. The song “Lift the Veil” is a good example of this. There are other times when she pushes too hard to do something special with her voice, particularly when sustaining her higher range for longs periods of time. It just doesn’t work for me, and at times, comes off a bit campy. The song “Endless Abandon” is this way for me. I think Mia has the potential to be every bit as good as Karin of Collide, for her style is similar. She just needs to let her natural voice shine.
Overall, I like “The Broken Mirror,” and the more I listened, the more I liked it. The CD definitely grows on you. The song “Method to the Madness” deserves immediately play in clubs and radio stations everywhere. I would love to see the song “This Wilting Rose” redone with slightly different vocals, because it can be phenomenal, and is the track that would put this band on the map. If I could fast forward a few years, I am willing to bet I am reviewing Petals and Thorns’ third full-length CD and absolutely loving it. Mia and Johnny have talent, and they are only scratching the surface of what they can do.