Julie Christmas The Bad Wife

Julie Christmas is that metal figure nobody seems to know, but all have heard. From her work with Made Out of Babies and Battle of Mice through to "supergroup" Spylacopa, featuring members of Dillinger Escape Plan, Candiria and Isis, she's been around the musical block. Looking to get her name out a bit more, debut solo effort The Bad Wife finds her at the forefront of the pack, belting it out unabashedly. Man, does she have a set of pipes. The Bad Wife is about as epic and powerful as metal can get without venturing to the precipice of overly operatic. Moreover, with her in-tune screaming, rolling back around to sugary melodies, supported by monumental musicianship, the album comes across as exactly what the Sugarcubes "could of, should of, would of" become and sounded like were it not for their diva venturing off to become, well, a diva. Essentially, while these songs are flooring and grandiose, and Christmas is nothing less than amazing, this is still little more than an artsy, rock-based album that's so spiky it rarely finds a solid groove to keep listeners locked in. Therefore, few metal fans will likely embrace it, unless trying to look "cultured" for a member of the opposite sex. It's a shame, as this is easily one of modern music's most sensational voices. (Rising Pulse)