Album Reviews

  • Domina Noctis - Second Rose (2008)

    I would assume that this Italian band is trying to follow their fellow Italian’s Lacuna Coil into international stardom, but they are doing it without selling out. This release in my opinion is 10 times better than anything Lacuna Coil has released in the last 5 years.

    Now that I got that out of my chest, Second Rose is a very solid sophomore release from Domina Noctis. While they clearly fit into the Gothic Metal genre, this album has small details that make it stand out from many other releases, and many other bands.

  • Silent Descent - Duplicity (2009)

    After listening to this album, I had to do more research on the band, and then I found out that they have won a few battle of the bands competitions, and many magazines have been calling phrasing them to no end. Well I can say that they are 100% correct. While it took me a while to really get into their music I have to say: it’s pretty fucking amazing.

    They label themselves as trance metal, and I think is not very accurate, but they do play a mean Industrial/melodic death metal. I have to say that their music is original in the sense that they sometimes burst out singing like some cheesy synth pop band, and it blends very well with their overall musical style.

  • Hammerfall - No Sacrifice, No Victory (2009)

    While everybody that knows me or my writing, you can clearly see that I’m no fan of power metal. I don’t have anything against it musically however I hate the vocals style in most of the bands.

    This new release of these Swedes starts with a bang with the song “Any Means Necessary” is a traditional power metal anthem, the blazing guitar solos, the (annoying) singing and choirs and the typical head banging melodic part. I have no complaints about this song the choir part even reminded me of Haggard at some point.

  • Diathra - My Endless Sorrow (2009)

    My Endless Sorrow is the second album from this band from Belarus, and in my opinion is a very strong second release. This band is clearly influenced by earlier work from Theatre Of Tragedy and Tristania among others.

    Diathra’s musical style is by no means original but it’s executed perfectly. While there are some “Beauty and the Beast” type of vocals in a few songs, the rest of the album mainly features the talents of Shiyka Dmitriy, their female vocalists.

  • Gothmog - A Step In The Dark (2008)

    A Step In The Dark is one of those albums you find yourself liking even tough they are not very original. Gothmog is clearly heavily influenced by Emperor, Cradle Of Flith, and many other black metal bands, and you can hear this in their songs

    This album is a very solid first release of this band, with some great guitar solos here and there, majestic keyboards like it’s to be expected from any good symphonic black metal band. The vocals are not annoying and are a perfect fit for this album.

  • Silentium - Amortean (2009)

    Silentium has been one of my favorite bands since they released their Infinita Plango Vulnera album, but I did not like Seducia at all. So I was a bit skeptical about this release, I think consistency is one thing that this band has lacked through out their carrer, since they release a very good album, and they follow it by a mediocre one.

    Well let me tell you Amortean, is probably their best album up to date. While they have moved far from their gothic/doom metal sound from their earlier releases, this album feels in the same style than Sufferion.

  • My Dying Bride - The Lies I Sire (2009)

    I have to say that this is one of the albums I have been waiting to hear in 2009. And while their 2006 album A Line Of Deathless Kings was not one of my favorites it still was a pretty solid release, but left me a bit disappointed, not as bad as 34.788% complete, but still not their best.

    Anyways going back to 2009, this release has been hyped by the press and their interviews as a mixture of their earlier sound with their newer sound, plus with the return of violin as well.  I have to admit that this statement is 100% accurate, while it’s not like their early 90’s music, it does mix the best aspects of all the releases that MDB has put out.

  • Luna Obscura - Feltia (2008)

    I have been looking for a great gothic/doom release for the whole year of 2008 and I was never able to find one. Just a few weeks ago I discovered Luna Obscura, and since the album was released in 2008 I have to say that I did found the release I was looking for during that year.

    After finding bands like this I have to wonder if the world is ever going to run out of bands that play this <insert-any-genre> at it’s best, and my answer has always been: NO, I keep finding bands that blow me away.

  • Fen - The Malediction Fields (2009)

    When this album starts, I started saying to my self” “here comes another shitty atmospheric black metal band”, like I often find telling my self and being completely right. Well for Fen I ate my own words, while their style is indeed atmospheric black/dark metal they have carefully crafted elements of folk and post-rock, to create a great unique sound.

    I would say they kind of resemble Alcest or even Agalloch at some points, but they have their own original ideas and sound embedded in their music.

    This album also evokes some memories of Ulver’s opus: Bergtatt. While at some points the music is very harsh, it’s perfectly balanced by great acoustic interludes changing the pace entirely of the songs.

  • Dol Theeta - The Universe Expands (2008)

    I have to say that this album is something very interesting, at first I thought I had the wrong band and I was reviewing some weird DJ shit, but nope, this Greek band plays some type of weird progressive / electro music with metal influences so I would just put it in on the category that everything weird goes into: Avant-garde Metal.

    Let me tell you the production of this album is amazing since you can hear every single detail in the music with perfect clarity. They do tend to emphasize the synthesizers too much, but this is the main core of the bands sound.

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