posted on 2/2008 By:
Sweden has never been as prominent as Norway and Finland when it comes to major black metal acts, but this EP from Admonish is a strong release. For some, the music on Insnärjd will not even be considered black metal partly because of the clean production and big emphasis on melody, and more to the point the fact that Admonish are openly Christian. Neither of the aforementioned points bothers me one iota, and the five numbers on this release are all polished, well-written metal songs with a good balance between the extreme and the accessible. This isn’t groundbreaking or particularly original, but Insnärjd is a solid piece of work with an impressive emotional punch.
The sound of Admonish falls somewhere between black/death and gothic doom, with interesting results. There are three ‘proper’ songs here and two acoustic instrumentals, which may be considered filler to some but I found them an effective pause between the metal, and ensures one doesn’t get bored by the band’s strong but admittedly familiar take on melodic death. “Tower of Strength” starts off at medium pace with dueling guitars, snarled throaty vocals and keyboards which provide an effective layer of atmosphere without being too intrusive. Death growls are used sparsely but implemented well, while backing female vocals are also present but again, not overbearing. Admonish’s use of speed is an element I particularly enjoyed, as when the drums hit blast mode it’s not at full pelt and the songs benefit from the breathing room this provides. The epic “Journey Into Afterlife” is the other standout track, featuring a haunting juxtaposition of clean vocals and impassioned screams, and a rather striking ending with only a female vocal, acoustic and bass guitar closing the song.
Insnärjd is a solid release from Admonish, and one that deserves more attention than it’s likely to be given due to the band’s chosen belief system, and that’s a shame. All of the songs on this EP are performed to a high standard, and delivered with passion and intensity. Insnärjd successfully balances the speed and venomous vocals of black metal with the melodic and atmospheric qualities of goth metal. Top musicianship and a crystal clear sound also add to the success of this release. Let’s hope it isn’t too long before we hear a new long-player from these guys.
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