Release DetailsLABEL Mankind’s Demise Records
RELEASED ON 3/25/2008
posted on 6/2008 By:
Here’s a really odd release that has me really torn on whether this is a great or terrible album; a second album that was five years in the works from a Canadian progressive melodic death metal band with heavy fantasy/folk elements. Yeah, you read that right.
On one hand, there’s some really, really good riffs here as well as some nice use of synths and female vocals and an overall sense of confident songwriting, but it's offset by the clumsy main vocals of Sébastien Robitaille that mix a fairly typical black/death metal rasp and some truly awful clean singing. Throw in the band’s just odd and lengthy mix of folk/fantasy elements with progressive music and the whole things sounds messy, despite some stellar riffs here and there.
If you can get past the band's over arching musical mix and the vocals, there’s some amazing promise here, especially in some of the more melodic death/black metal moments that aren’t too progressive or folk based. When the band just bears down and rocks out and deliver some riff/synth based metal such as when opener “Middle” settles into its main riff, opening of “Messiah”, groovy opening riff of “Perils” and parts of “Parallels”, or the blast beats of closer “Downfall”, I’m reminded of underrated Swedish one and done melo-death act Lothlorien or fellow Canadians Blinded by Faith (whose former drummer Luc Gaulin plays on this album). But more often than not, each track is marred by Robitaille’s forays into clean singing or just an awkward injection of flutey/fantasy atmospherics, for example the Middle Eastern break of “Middle” and “Radiance”, most of “Falling”, “Malediction” and “Hazard” that are just all over the place, and derail anything positive. The only time it all really works is “Pentinent”. Throw in the fact that the songs are all in the 5-9 minute range, including the 9+ minute “Radiance”, which waffles and wanders with no real direction.
Of course, the band has now split up, which is a shame as I would have like to have heard the band change vocalists and develop just their guitar and synth based sound, as there was a ton of promise buried beneath the vocals and all the superfluous elements. However, as it stands, their two album legacy is marked by lots of promise and ambition and little else.
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