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Cadaveria and her mates must be one of the most under-rated and under-reviewed bands of all time. As far as I'm concerned, this isn't fair. I’ve listened to Opera IX and personally, I think Cadaveria has way more style. The music on this album is great, very catchy and well worked. And while some may compare her to Arch Enemy’s Angela, let’s not forget that Cadaveria was doing harsh vocals in a metal band long before aiming for a more-or-less independent career and that she can actually sound like a female when she wants to. Also, it’s not hard to whisper in your songs, but anybody equipped with 2 working ears will be hard pressed not to admit that Cadaveria explores a much wider vocal palette than other bands’ front-women.
That being said, let’s sit back and objectively look at The Shadows’ Madame. From a production standpoint, I can only say that I would have preferred a bit more polish. But maybe this is the way they intended this record to go out: a bit on the raw side. The instruments don't sound as crisp as they should, but it definitely didn't displease my ears. And as far as the musicianship is concerned, I said it and I will say it again: catchy. This stuff has songs that would make me headbang in my grave, which alone makes the album worth the investment. For example, check out the ending of Circle Of Enternal Becoming or Black Glory. All in all, this 38 minute album leaves me hungry for more Cadaver...ia.
Cadaveria should have been a lot more popular and then, for sure, the opinions would clash, as she is a vocal which is destined to polarize opinions. As a band, perhaps it's one of those which are appreciated and understood only by a few weirdoes. But really, you should try to find the weirdo in you, search and listen to this. You may be surprised.
Before going any further in this review, I should point out that I've never heard a note recorded by Opera IX, Cadaveria's old band. Thus, I'm coming to her project absolutely cold and don't have any experience to compare it with.
The strength of this album is the music. There are some exceptionally catchy riffs which are sure to induce involuntary head movements on just about every track. For this reason alone, the album's worth a 50% score.
Unfortunately, Cadaveria herself seems to have decided that the Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy) style of "over-the-top rasp" is the right vocal to have. No, that's not quite fair. At times, she does in fact show slightly more versatility than Gossow seems capable of, but routinely her vocals get in the way of the music. As a general rule, she seems to have one sound - this sort of toneless rasp - and one sound only. Occasionally, there are extra notes which creep in, but these are few and far between.
I've tried listening to this album and ignoring Cadaveria's vocals, but this is more of a challenge than it should be, since they're so far up in the mix that it's just about impossible to ignore them. Instead, I'm treated to a constant stream of what sound like generic horror-inspired lyrics which show no real originality.
Some may say that I've missed the point here, and that the point about this band is that the vocals are this way (this is the only conclusion I can draw here), but if that's the case it really isn't my thing either. Read into this what you will, but I remain convinced that with a better vocalist this would be a much stronger album.