Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 2/7/2006
posted on 2/2006 By:
What if Opeth and Darkane were living in each other’s pants?
This thing starts off like a Darkane-esque melodic death record, but quickly….evolves? Devolves? Morphs and mutates? Takes on the trappings of an Opeth clone with shorter songs... And while this means we are enduring yet another band with very little originality to offer, we are also enjoying a band that “gets” the bands they are ripping off enough to be entertaining in their own right. In other words, like Stone Temple Pilots or the Black Crows, these guys are hard core parrots, but they are at least fucking accurate hard core parrots.
The reason you might be able to stomach the fact that you are essentially listening to a cover band doing medleys of the originators’ great ideas is that Sateriel keep things moving, changing pace, mood and style from song to song without sounding overly forced or spastic. Instead of trying to duplicate Opeth’s pentient for long compositions, they cut their songs down to a relatively palatable length, concentrating on the chord phrasings more than the disparate compositional aspects. And where they might have driven you nuts with overplayed and overwrought Darkane melodic quirks, instead they give you simple tastes. It rarely gets old. And to be fair, toward the end of the record things start to get a little more stylistically pure.
Moreover, their compositions manage to be as catchy in their own right as those of the great bands they emulate. The production is clean and maybe a little clinical at times, but catches the band’s efforts to good effect. The musicians are like porno box quotes: hot, tight and willing, and are not afraid to sacrifice tech for the effort of making the songs sound good, as any great band does. The vocals really tie things into the above mentioned bands, though. The singer has Darkane’s throaty melodic style, Opeth’s blackened death style and clean melodic style down damned near perfect. You can see this as a plus or a minus, but at least his voice rarely distracts from or overpowers the music. The tasty addition of guest female vocals by Lenny Blade serve to keep things even more varied.
But... the bottom line is that this record suffers dramatically from Darkopethiane disorder. Especially in the acoustically oriented songs you may forget that it’s NOT Opeth. I am always torn when a band is this good yet this derivative. If I hadn’t heard any of the other groups this would be damned near a triple sixer. If the band was slightly less compelling this would have to be a triple three. I believe, all things being equal, you should visit their work and decide for yourself whether the similarities make this too hack for your integrity to handle, or if there is enough talent, soul and substance to get you past the “already own” factor. For me this band is a keeper. Like STP and TBC, the band itself is just too good not to listen to. I will end up skipping the quieter pieces - way too Opeth - but on the whole I know this will creep into my play lists from time to time. Recommended with trepidation.
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