Release DetailsLABEL Spinefarm
RELEASED ON 10/4/2006
To Die For
Wounds Wide Open
posted on 10/2006 By:
This album caught me off-guard, since I thought the band was dead and gone. Apparently that was kind of the case, after 2003’s Jaded, vocalist Jape left the band to form another gothic metal act. Well, since his voice is the defining characteristic of To/Die/For, he and the label decided to take the name with them. An album released last year, IV, passed right under my radar, but seeing as how there’s another album out this year, Jape and new crew are obviously full-time.
It’s not a stretch to say that much of our readership will shun these Finns and their welcoming sound. Clean and exaggerated vocals, plenty of keyboards, pop song structures, catchy choruses, it’s all here. Basically, this is your standard Finnish goth rock album, and as it says in my Myspace, I dig it. The studio graced Wounds Wide Open with a fine mix. The highs are clear but not piercing and there is plenty of low end boom, although the vocal processing gets a little noticeable.
The first song starts off promising, with choral chanting over some loud guitar, but then it notches down just enough to sound like what they’ve been doing since 2000. Quieter, spoken verses lead into faster, sung choruses. “Under a Velvet Sky” tickles my fancy with it’s unexpected solos, Sentenced-esque leads, and completely over-the-top vocals. “Liquid Lies” is a rollercoaster, going from intense, almost shouted vocals from Jape, to punchy female lines, to mellow interludes, to keyboard leads. It’s a cool track, even if a little disjointed. And let’s not forget an Ozzy cover of “I Just Want You”.
Wounds Wide Open is a solid album in a long line of solid albums from To/Die/For. They are commercially-oriented and can feel contrived, but underneath the gothic veneer lay professionally-composed music with a strong sense of what their fans want to hear. If you’ve got the stomach for bombastic gothic rock, this album will not disappoint.
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