(24 August 2008) Kathy Ben Haroush is an Israeli rock/opera singer/song writer from Tel Aviv. Her music style is best described as a combination of Gothic Rock with electronic, rock and operatic influences. Kathy began the material for this album in late 2006 when the plan was to go for a melodic rock and opera sound. However in 2007, she joined forces with producer Raz Klinghoffer and the music started taking its current sound. Fans of Evanescence and Nightwish will not be disappointed with Kathy's new fifteen track album Karma Noir (2008). The album is also released under the moniker Karma Noir as Sick In My Way (2008).
Kathy was classically trained at the Isareli Music Academy of Tel Aviv University as a professinoal opera singer. She is a dramatic mezzo-soprano with an incredible range. Karma Noir is the third album Kathy has published under her own label. Her first album Kathy (2002) sung in English won a European distribution contract from Virgin. Her follow up, Time For Love (2005) sung in Hebrew charted six times on Israel radio with each song remaining on the charts for three months. In 2008, Kathy won Readers Choice in London's Alternative Mag rock magazine, scoring first place with her submission of the opening song "You" from the Karma Noir album. Over 20,000 readers voted for this contagious Amy Lee/Evanescence-styled rock ballad.
Once can clearly hear that music was a way of living in the Ben Haroush family. Her father had a band when he was young and he encouraged his children to study music. Kathy told us, "Once my father saw that it's my passion, he helped me a lot rehearsing with me and preparing me for all my auditions." By the age of ten, Kathy sang in local and national childrens festivals winning first places.
She said, "I always knew that singing and writing would be my way of living. Singing and lyrics came from my heart and I spent long hours in my bedroom singing and writing songs, short stories and especially ballads. My dramatic nature has been there forever." By thirteen, Kathy won a national competition for young poets at Haifa University. To pursue her dramatic performing ambitions, she signed to study acting and vocals with a local theater group in Ma'alot. In addition to her theater studies, Kathy was accepted at Haifa University at just sixteen to a special two year program for gifted children to study journalism and communications completing the first of her two BAs there. She joined her first band and sang cover tunes during this period.
Kathy served with the Israeli Navy before completing a four year program at Tel Aviv University Academy Of Music leaving with a BA in Music (Opera Performing Arts). We asked about her current project. Kathy told us, "I joined forces with Raz Klinghoffer for the Karma Noir album. We both have the same musical taste and we musically clicked. The working process was a great adventure."
Her stated influences of Evanescence, Metalica, Scorpions, Breaking Benjamin, Bach, Beethoven, Blini, Puccin, Verdi, Aretha Franklin, Pat Matteny has given her a huge range to draw upon for her current effort. Listeners will hear the Evanescence influence in about a third of the album's fifteen well produced tracks. A well honed soprano texture with lush harmonies and well sung male rap parts characterize this sound. The album is sung entirely in English and is flawless without a trace of accent.
The remainder of the album's tracks are split between Nightwish-style Gothic rockers and gentler ballads. We especially enjoyed the writing team's ability to vary textures within the tracks. It is not uncommon for a track to go from ripping electric guitar passages to quiet and gentle ballad movements or vice versa. In fact, these texture changes are evident across the album. The band thoughtfully included several overall gentler numbers, but one should not be mistaken--this is a rock album. Some of the songs have underlying have oriental and middle eastern textures which contribute uniquness to the work.
Arrangements, while prominent in the mix, never outweigh Kathy's crystalline vocal work. Self harmonies flow across the album adding texture and additional strength appropriately. Kathy has a powerful voice, well suited for and dramatically performed in the ambitious rock numbers. The combination of Kathy's dramatically soaring vocal work and metal-edged guitar-based instrumentals and pulsing rhythm section must be amazing to see when the band perform on stage.
Currently pursuing a record deal in Europe and the United States, the handsomely prepared album package is presently already available from online from CD Baby. Be sure to visit the artist's MySpace website to listen to streaming audio, to contact the artist and to purchase this album. An impressive project from an established Israeli artist, the Karma Noir album is one to delight female vocals enthusiasts!