Release DetailsLABEL DVS Records
RELEASED ON 7/30/2002
Ashes to Ashes
posted on 11/2003 By:
Wow. This is bad. I mean I had to bust out the thesaurus to find new and creative negative words to use, I like a challenge when it comes to describing brilliant albums but this was a chore to listen to and review. A Norwegian band that plays “Gregorian metal” (the labels description not mine) =progressive, gothicy, doomy Tristania like metal with lots of deeply chanted, operatic vocals, and heavy orchestral synth work. Don’t get me wrong I like a lot of Gothic metal (Embraze, Silentium, Virgin Black, etc), but this did nothing for me whatsoever. What’s more surprising is the amount of stellar reviews (from ALOT of European sources mind you) I’ve seen for this. So either I’m utterly wrong and take this review with a grain of salt or read on or find an objective opinion on this rather hyped band. I really have a hard time finding much to like about Cardinal Sin; the string/synth work is nicely overblown and dominating, erm.. That’s about it really. Pompous frontman Kenneth Brastad delivers all vocal styles-from gruff shout to operatic chanting, none of them carry the incredibly weak songs at all. While attempting to be moody and atmospheric, it comes across as dreary and lifeless. The only time I was emotionally connected to the music (a key component of Goth metal) was the Enigma like dance beat interlude during “Truth on Scaffold”, and even that is mired between some tripe arabesque metal musings. The generally mid paced pounding is intertwined with varying degrees of predictable atmospherics and theatrics, and it’s not until the album’s halfway point, ‘Dualism’ do I hear a riff that I find remotely interesting. Even an attempt at a harsher, angrier song (“Ravenous Unleashed”) included to no doubt satisfy non-Goth whiners like me is an instrumental exercise in vapid forgetfulness. The coup de grace though is the 13-minute “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi”, I mean how much plodding, woeful, meaningless gloom and over dramatics can you force into one song? Well about this much, I’d say. You know its bad when I thought the two short piano instrumentals “Iben” and “Iben Pt2”, were the albums most entertaining moments. Even the sudden high-octane gallop of “Behind Closed Eyes”, was cliched, tired and unappealing. Heck, there’s even some potentially epic blackened blasting for the penultimate title track, but it soon derails into Goth rock musical anemia. Even a staple of good Goth metal- pristine production is lacking, as the guitars are thin and unassuming, a huge no-no for a genre that relies on stout guitars too often offset the over the top theatrics. There’s a reason this lot is signed to a no name label from the Netherlands, they deserve each other, as DVS states they wont release many albums a year (thank god), preferring “quality over quantity”, and (their words not mine). So, where exactly is the quality then?
Register to post comments.