Review | Whiteabbey – Words That Form The Key

Metalapolis Records

Starting out in 2020 as a side-project between North Ireland’s Stormzone guitarist Steve Moore and Dutch female singer Tamara Bouwhuis of Dim Crimson, resulting in two self-released albums. The duo realised the potential of this adventure and decided to go for a real band recruiting drummer Badger Duncan and Stormzone bass player Graham McNulty. Signing with German label Metalapolis the new album ‘Words That Form The Key’ is the first record released on a bigger platform with the band also hoping to take to the stage later this year.


I must admit that I am not familiar with their earlier work but this album certainly has its moments. As Tamara has a soprano type of voice where high notes are key you would classify the group maybe in the category of Nightwish or Within Temptation. From a vocal stand point that would make sense when you hear Tamara sing. But the music tells (most of the time) a different story. When you hear tracks such as ,,You Should Be Running’’ or ,,Hold Fast’’ you will encounter a group that managed to create an excellent mix between melodic metal (the music) and symphonic/angelic type of singing.


And that combination certainly works out quite well. The album has quite some bombastic moments because of the orchestration that is woven into a bunch of songs. Also some Celtic influences can be discovered throughout several songs such as ,,Ireland’s Last Witch’’. There are also some more sophisticated moments in the form of ,,All In The Past’’; a subtle interplay between the guitar of Moore and the inspiring voice of Bouwhuis. But what I like is the metal attitude that is displayed on this album. McNulty and Badger supply a cast iron foundation and Moore is at heart a classic metal guitarist. Listen to ,,Celtic Eyes’’ and I think you will catch my drift.


I am not saying that Whiteabbey is shifting musical borders on ‘Words That Form The Key’. But they have found a mix or formula (take your pick) that should appeal to classic heavy metal fans who don’t mind a talented female singer that puts symphonic elements into the whole performance. Add to that a bunch of very decent songs, a quite heavy sound and some good musicianship by all members involved, and there you have it. A well-crafted melodic metal album with balls and a chick that can really sing.

Release date: 23 February 2024



Logged in as