Frankly, I'm a bit divided with this one.
Mostly to the positive side as you can see from the rating.
The former Scar Symmetry fronter Christian Älvestam surely knows his way in
metal, as does his companions with honours earned in Essence of Sorrow,
Miseration, Sonata Arctica and Kotipelto, so the technical element is in place.
And it is a technically strong release we have here - tight the way modern metal
has to be, a versatile singer, playful handling of the genre with Yngvie
inspired guitar virtuosity. This is not the issue.
The issue is that the Swedes have a tendency to succumb to doodling. The opener,
The Close Beyond, is extremely promising with its combination of hammering
riffs, growl and clean vocals. But from there on, only the title track and the
tune Bladed Vaults really show us the full-on hammer.
The 16-minute epos Clandestiny Now is of course noteworthy as it more or less
sums up the other nine songs of the album, but it certainly includes the
doodling elements too.
Points for great professionalism, tightness and versatily, but not necessarily
for song writing that goes right into your heart.