The Black Swan Epilogue
posted on 11/2009 By:
Bibleblack features guitarists Mike Wead (King Diamond / Mercyful Fate) and Simon Johansson (Memory Garden), so the band’s gothic and mildly doomy take on melodic death metal shouldn’t surprise anyone. Another point that shouldn’t pose any surprise is the fact that the guitar-work contained on The Black Swan Epilogue is the most distinctive and interesting part of the record. While Wead’s leads are fast, melodic and typically well-crafted and his interplay with Johansson is solid, overall, Black Swan feels like the product of a weekend-long riff-knitting session—some cool moments that really work and bits of true and glorious inspiration interspersed across eight tracks that more often than not don’t quite coalesce into truly kick-ass songs, merely decent moments that feel stitched-together, meandering. For every moment like the driving parts of “Bleed” or the tremolo-picked riff in “The Dark Engine,” there are as many points where the songs lose steam, diverging into half-cool shifts, the occasional pedestrian riff, atmospheric interludes or keyboard-laden “spooky” dramatics… Vocalist Kacper Rosanski’s rasp is suitably throaty and raw, but it’s also pretty standard, and neither he nor anyone else on hand (save Wead) does anything to truly stand out. And yes, Wead’s performance is truly noteworthy, but even then, his contributions to Fate and Diamond are better in every way.
As alluded to above, “Bleed” is the album’s best track, fast and snarling, with a memorable hook and a more cohesive riff structure than on other tracks. There, as elsewhere, the gothic touches give Black Swan a slight departure from typical goth / melodeath fare, but even then, even in the album’s best moments, the generally eerie atmospherics (also evident on the intro to “The Dark Engine”) still can’t (or don’t) separate this too terribly far from average. Side projects are (more) often (than not) plagued with a product less than the sum of its parts, and this one is one of those.
When all is said and done, despite a few moments of glory, The Black Swan Epilogue suffers from disjointed and mostly bland songwriting, from a result that’s less engaging than one would hope given the names attached.
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