This album is a very mixed get-together of styles and influences, first and foremost it’s death metal, with deep growling vocals, but also with greater or smaller inputs of “modern” metal a la Lacuna Coil, Evanescence and the likes (mostly because of Sabine Wenigers melodic voice), gothic and industrial/electro in some of the rhythm- and keyboard parts (even with a f**king house-beat on one of the tracks!!) and more straight heavy/power metal – I really quite don’t know where to put it and what to think of it.
Since their latest album “Earth.Revolt” female singer Sabine Weniger has become a full member of the band, and not just a guest vocalist. She has a very clean and nice voice for the melodic parts, and is often used in the well known “beauty-beast vocal”-concept for making the (normally slower) more melodic chorus, where Johannes Prem does the very deep growling parts in the (faster) verses. It works, even though the concept has been heard before…
Most of the songs are composed this way, and all though there are some catchy melodies/riffs, instrumental parts and symphonic excursions to tie the numbers together, it gets a little trivial in the long run; listening to it, I normally lost attention after a few tracks. Personally I like a lot of the melodic stuff on this album, but after some time I get tired of the growling and the relentless pounding of the drums in the faster tracks – let’s face it, I’m not a death metal fan…. and a lot of the numbers sound too much alike.
All musicians work their instruments skilfully; it’s all very tight and controlled, but doesn’t really bring any new ideas for the genre.
A few examples from the album:
“Losers’ Ballet” has an almost classical sounding piano/orchestral intro, a cool, catchy riff/melody, that sets a nice, scary mood, and an orchestral middle part, that sounds like a movie-soundtrack. Only vocals on this track is the growls, and they are not so dominant here as elsewhere - that is just fine with me.
“Code of Honor” and “End Begins” starts off with some electro-shit, and later in “End Begins” there’s a piece with a house beat – to me that’s completely off here, and must have been taken in just for the diversion in style.
“To Where The Skies Are Blue” is a very slow song, that differs a lot from the rest of the album: a classic piano and Sabine Wenigers vocals is all there is, and it could as well have been the end track of a clean pop/rock album (Heart, Alannah Myles or similar)– a real “lighter-track” for the live shows…YAWN!
The album is recorded and produced by guitarist Sebastian Reichl and mixed by Jacob Hansen, and the influence of the latter is obvious in the sound, it bears his recognizable trademark: clear and powerful.
What can I say, I’m not really caught by this album, in spite of the good melodies and catchy riffs, and the angelic female voice of Sabine – there’s just too much death on this record for my taste (where as hardcore death fans will probably think there’s too much “pussy-metal” here), and the numbers are too much alike to keep up my attention. If you like both modern metal and death, and want to hear what a mix of it sounds like, this might be for you.
Recommended tracks; “Losers Ballet” & “Bloodpact”.