Being huge fans of Gothic Death/Doom Metal, it is quite a treat when we get promos from bands like Lycanthia that keep the genre alive and give it a push with their excellent release. In “Oligarchy” the band delivers eight tracks of majestic Gothic Death/Doom Metal in the same vein of bands like Draconian, Ashes You Leave, old Theater Of Tragedy, The Sins of Thy Beloved, etc. With more than 50 minutes of music, this release is quite emotional and very well-crafted, the perfect addition to any fan of the genre collection.
Opening with the nine-minute epic “The Essential Components of Misery”, we are immediately hooked by Vanessa Black and Megan Tassaker (Avrigus) enchanting vocals. Vanessa also handles the violin in this release, and it greatly adds that depressive atmospheric vibe that it is intended for. Lee Tassaker’s growls are a perfect fit, and the powerful riffs are just the stuff Doom dreams are made of.
Having been huge fans of the band’s earliest Gothic/Doom work, we have been reluctant to fully enjoy their most recent releases until this one. In “Antiadore” Lacrimas Profundere belts out 12 Gothic Rock anthems that are quite moody and catchy. The band has finally won us over with very catchy tunes, signature deep vocals, and excellent arrangements that make their music very dynamic and enjoyable.
Led by the only remaining original member, Oliver Nikolas Schmid, on guitars, the band opens with “My Release in Pain”, a very catchy and emotional song. The band quickly warms up with tracks like “Antiadore”, “What I’m Not”, and “Dead To Me”, perfectly combining their powerful dual guitar attack with catchy keyboards and the trademark vocals of Rob Vitacca.
Finally returning with a full length since “Rubicon”, today we have Tristania and their latest opus “Darkest White”. Being one of the few surviving bands of the original wave of Gothic Metal bands from the late 90’s, Tristania has been evolving with time and adapting their sound to be catchier and diverse. Since the departure of their iconic singer Vibeke back in 2007, this band has slowly been coping for this loss with the addition of Mariangela Demurtas and Kjetil Nordhus vocal talents.
“Darkest White” delivers the best songs of this latest era of the band, delivering over 50 minutes of lush symphonic elements, excellent vocal arrangements, and quite powerful music in general. Opening with “Number”, we immediately thought we had the wrong album playing since this track starts very heavy and almost Black Metal-esque. As the chorus part comes in, we immediately get the traditional Tristania vibe thanks to its richness and catchiness.
We at Infernal Masquerade are not huge fans of compilation releases, but when it comes to one of our favorite bands, Delain, we have to make an exception and review “Interlude”. Featuring two brand new songs, three cover songs, two ‘different versions’ of tracks from “We Are The Others”, and a few live songs, this release is mainly for hardcore fans and collectors of the band.
Keeping their more accessible and even Pop-ish sound on “Breathe On Me”, the band delivers a catchy tune that is quite enjoyable. Charlotte’s vocals are as angelic as ever, and the slow tempo allows them to shine nicely. Martijn Westerholt does a solid job providing lush keyboards that carry the chorus section of the song. “Collars And Suits” keeps the band’s tradition of excellent Symphonic elements offset by killer guitars and the charisma of the band’s vocalist. We have to say that this is the best song of the release, and up to par with the best from “We Are The Others”.
Featuring almost 80 minutes of beautifully crafted Progressive/Melodic Rock, today we have Germany’s Blacklands and their latest release “A New Dawn”. In this very competitive and highly repetitive music scene, it is quite refreshing to hear such a heartfelt and powerful release. With “A New Dawn”, the band takes traditional Melodic Rock with Progressive elements and ads lush female vocals for a great dramatic and highly pleasing effect, something that will surely appeal to fans from Gothic Metal all the way to Progressive Rock aficionados.
Opening the release with the melancholic “Cold Embrace”, we get first glance of the excellent keyboards of Manfred Reinecke together the vivid and sultry voice of Moja Nardelli. This song also shows the clear Progressive elements in the band’s music perfectly mixed with their more melodic and at times Symphonic/Gothic Metal influences. With a folky edge, “Dance of The Witches” nicely changes up the pace and showcases the band’s versatility.
Delivering their swan song release, today we have Trail of Tears and possibly one of their best albums in their career: “Oscillation”. Surrounded by crazy drama over their facebook page and plastered all over the internet, and internal struggle once more has destroyed this band with Ronny Thorsen finally opting (for now) to put the band to rest. Featuring 13 tracks and over 50 minutes of intense and lush Symphonic/Gothic Metal, this release marks the seventh and final release of a great band.
Drama aside, “Oscillation” features very emotional tracks that bring the band back to their “Disclosure in Red” style, in terms of melancholy and raw emotions. “Waves of Existence” opens this release with lush symphonic sections and very melancholic vocals from Catherine Paulsen. The atmosphere feels very emotional and quite catchy indeed. Other tracks like “Scream Out Loud” have a more pop-ish feeling similar to bands like Amaranthe and Unsun.
As one of the most awaited releases of 2013, today we have Eternal Tears of Sorrow and their seventh full-length release “Saivon Lapsi”. With the band aging very well with time, this release is indeed their best album to date. With their signature Melodic Death Metal with Gothic elements sound, the 11 tracks presented in this release show the band’s maturity and their ability to craft epic songs that are both aggressive and emotional.
Immediately after the intro, the band sails full-steam ahead with the powerful “Dark Alliance”. EToS traditional riffing immediately shines when paired with the atmospheric keyboards and the very elaborate vocal arrangements. Altti Veteläinen growls are as good as ever and they are very well complemented by Jarmo Kylmänen’s clean pipes, a staple in the band’s sound since 2004. The keyboard orchestrations are as impressive as ever and elevate the band’s sound majestically.
After their triumphant return in 2010 with “Astron Black and the Thirty Tyrants”, today we have Nightfall and their less inspired latest release “Cassiopeia”. Just when one thinks a band is back in full swing, they release an album that feels more forced that natural. Don’t get us wrong, “Cassiopeia” is a solid album but it feels like the band had it on the closet for 6-7 years and sounds a bit outdated for today’s standards.
Opening with “Phaethon”, the band delivers solid riffing that reminded us of Gothic/Doom/Death Metal albums from the mid 90’s, the period when Nightfall was at their prime. Paired with subtle keyboard hints and solid growls, the band sounds pretty powerful but after a few tracks it just gets old. The speedups of “Oberon & Titania” and other songs take away a bit from the linearity of this release, but ultimately are not enough to keep us interested on the songs as we were for the band’s previous release.
Twenty years have passed since the band’s iconic release “Clouds” first saw the light of day and very little of that band remains today. With “The Scarred People”, Tiamat continues their never ending transformation delivering eleven very catchy tunes that still manage to turn people’s heads. Which each song the band delivers enigmatic catchy melodies that will surely draw the attention of most Gothic Rock/Metal fans.
Opening with a pair of catchy tunes like “The Scarred People” and “Winter Dawn”, the band immediately establishes their very atmospheric approach to this release. Johan Edlund’s vocals are as good as always, and his contributions in the keyboards really make up for 70% of the band’s unique and enigmatic sound. Things really start getting emotional in the brilliant “Radiant Star”, one of our favorite tracks of this release. In this song the tempo is very mellow and the mood is set very melancholic to fully create one of the best Gothic ballads we have heard in quite a while.
What better early X-mas gift can anybody ask for than the latest Ashes You Leave album titled “The Cure For Happiness”. Dropping this November 29th, 2012 through Rock’n’Growl, this eagerly awaited release is set to fill that void left in 2012 of an excellent Gothic Doom Metal release. Delivering nine tracks of pure melancholy and powerful emotions, this album is sure to keep the band’s legacy intact of excellent album that are only release when the band really feels they are done right.
Newly fronted by Giada “Jade” Etro, the band returns in full strength as they have managed to find another excellent vocalist that can lead their melancholic music. Wasting no time, she delivers a commanding performance in “Devil In Disguise”. In this amazing track the band nicely sets a melodic mood with their traditional violins and well-crafted keyboards. Jade’s vocals immediately gave us chills when listening to the song since it is very eerie how well they mix with the band’s sound and greatly enhance the atmosphere.