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I am generally not a huge fan of the melodic death metal style because of its close connection to the Gothenburg scene, which emphasizes a combination of over-simplified melodic ideas repeated way too much and an extremely flat sounding vocal approach, devoid of any change in character or general flexibility. I have taken a liking to Amon Amarth because they don’t suffer from these common trappings, and balance out simple melodies with the much needed changes to keep a song clocking in at over 4 minutes interesting.
Of the songs on here two ended up appearing on the “Sorrow through the Nine Worlds” EP, while the remaining track was kept for the debut LP “Once Sent from the Golden Hall”. Aside from the production quality and a slight extension in the length of “Burning Creation”, the former songs are mostly unchanged and performed well. By contrast, “Without Fear” is a good deal faster than the other two, features a somewhat less varied structure, and ultimately of a more triumphant character than the others. It is fitting that this song was not placed with the EP tracks, as the very titles of the two respective releases present two very different outlooks by this band, which is otherwise much more specialized than others in their genre in this regard.
This is a good demo to have if you are a core-fan of the band and wish to possess all of the versions of their recorded material. I obtained it along with the other 2 pre-Golden Hall releases on the Special Edition “Versus the World” release, which is the ideal way to get them and save money, not to mention the hassle of trying to find someone in possession of the original that is actually willing to part with it. This is an alternative take on the melodic death style that coincided with the Gothenburg scene, and one that I personally prefer, my own status as a power/prog fan non-withstanding.