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The American Answer to the Gothenburg sound - 89%

Onirium, September 24th, 2004

I thought this band played some kind of Brutal Death Metal, but when I played the CD I realised I was very wrong. What they play is something close to what bands like CEREMONIAL OATH, DARK TRANQUILLITY or EUCHARIST played at the beginning of the nineties. They have added some keyboards, and maybe some parts of their music are more oriented to the melodic Black Metal thing, but in general I could perfectly say their music is almost completely based on the Gothenburg sound of ten years ago. They are not Swedish, but what the hell, they know how to play this kind of music much better than many Swedish bands of nowadays. They are talented musicians and the songs they compose are full of rage and melody in the same quantity. Be sure that if you like this kind of stuff you are going to like this album. It seems this kind of music is having a lot of success in the States, this is not the first band from there I listen playing melodic Swedish Death Metal, but trust me, they are much better than many others. Their music is faster, with more rage, more intensity, better melodies… Check this album out if you like this kind of stuff and you are tired of the new trend of Swedish bands with nice production, gay melodies and no feeling at all.

Originally written by myself for Xtreem Music.

Not quite there yet... - 60%

MHITO, July 6th, 2003

Heavy Metal ala Maiden, Black Metal ala Cradle of Filth, Doom ala Anathema, Death ala In Flames a Hysterical Black Metal vocalist, this SHOULD appeal to me! But it doesn’t. Why? Well for starters it has nothing to do with the musicians because they are all proficient at playing their respective instruments. It doesn’t have anything to do with the production either because it’s damn near perfect.

What is bothering me is the utter lack of originality in the seven songs on the album. The list of bands and songs that I’m reminded of is sheer endless. Not that originality is the most important thing in music but when it gets this bad it starts to annoy me.
The only thing that absolves these guys is that there are a lot of bands out there with even less talent and craftsmanship. Another thing is the fact that they are (or seem to be) good musicians that perhaps in time will develop their own sound and style. There are always going to be bands that come a bit too late to take a ride on the bandwagon and I’m afraid Compos Mentis is one of them. Let’s hope they find their own thing so we can look back and consider this a Demo of inferior quality to the next album.

(This review was originally written for http://www.lordsofmetal.nl and is republished with kind permission of the webmaster)