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Taking a look to some reviews of this album I have always been puzzled by the poor ratings that this work has received (there are quite good ones too). It’s true that this sophomore CD marks a clear department from the sound of their debut, which was interesting but even though it wasn’t flawless. Perhaps the similarities with HIM’s first efforts irritated some old fans, who clearly miss the heavier touch of “The Treasures Within”, but it’s undeniable that this second effort is a perfectly composed and executed gothic metal record, with a delicious melancholy that surrounds each composition. “Gone” is an excellent portrait of what Finnish gothic metal is, with this fluctuant mixture of heavy riffs, mid tempo pace, simple but excellent keys and these recognizable sad and querulous vocals. Moreover, this immense sense of despair that the music transmits is culminated by the lyrics, which are clearly oriented to mournful histories. Everything combined achieves a great result and consequently this album contains many songs that could be potential singles.
The album itself begins with “Losing the Ground”, an excellent disc opener. After a few seconds you realize that Mika’s vocals will take an important role in this work whose style is clearly different in comparison to the ones recorded on the debut album. Though the mentioned song is quite good it is rapidly overshadowed by other top compositions like “Snow White Suicide”, which are heavier compositions with simple but remarkable choruses. The album flows naturally from the most straightforward compositions to really sad ballad / mid tempo songs which are equally painful and marvelous. What you feel with some songs of "Gone" is a indescribable sense of despair. Simply switch off the lights and listen to songs as "Closer" and you will understand what I am trying to explain. As I have mentioned before Mika’s vocals are another good reason to listen to this masterpiece. They sound truly sad and emotive. In my opinion his work is highly versatile and adds a new range of variety to the bands compositions.
Dynamism is another characteristic of this work that shall be mentioned and praised. We can find some exquisite peaceful and atmospheric beginnings which are suddenly broken by the guitars and closely followed by intense main sections which are always quite catchy. These tempo changes are another interesting example of how this album perfectly fluctuates from the most delicate parts to the strongest and most addictive ones. It's simply awesome. I would like to eulogize too those beautifully introduced arrangements which never take too much importance but they always improve the compositions in an excellent way. Those short violin parts or the angelic voices emphasize the overwhelming quality of the compositions which are themselves awesome but with these additions reach a higher lever of quality and inspiration.
In conclusion, I consider “Gone” as one of the finest gothic metal I have ever heard. A perfectly accomplished CD with all you expect from a flawless work where everything is combined with magnificent taste. Undoubtedly, Entwine's sophomore album is a must have for every fan of melancholic music.
As stated before in a few different reviews, my curiousity at times gets the better of me when it comes to certains bands and certain albums. I've already espoused the glories of finding MORBID ANGEL and OPETH out of sheer luck, but I've never really brought up the uglier side of the spectrum, where one goes record shopping, finds an album of potential excellence, puts it in and is thunderstruck by a definative lack of excellence.
Like this little doozy.
Upon checking this out I had no idea what kind of trouble I'd end up being in, and honestly wasn't sure of what to expect. With every fiber of my being I never would have expected half-assed, whiny, sub-par goth rock with a metallic twinge the likes of the which would set many a Heartagram aflutter. For what it's worth these guys don't tread original or even entertainingly-unoriginal waters but instead dive headfirst into a Hot Topic symphomaniac's dream, obviously perverted by the likes of H.I.M. and newer-era SENTENCED. What good points I can give this work only really end up being about the album's production, which is pristine and rather punchy, and the keyboards and their up-front approach, using its vague elegance to outdo the rather mundane guitar and bass riffing that are just sorta there and act as a simple foundation than anything of extreme importance. Drumwork is harmless and rockish, plugging along rather simple mid-tempo beats that don't get in the way of the overall approach. But once the vocalist starts with his off-key, cry-me-a-river warbling, it's like musical assassination. Every other successive listen has only made me feel even more angst towards this joker and the way his vocal complaints bog down the overall musical approach. Such an ipacac-esque combination is shown in bitter spades in the likes of "Losing The Ground", "New Dawn", and "Thru the Darkness", in which the goth approach comes off as hackneyed and materialistic, far more "Pretty Hate Machine" than "Dark Shadows".
So in the end this wasn't as good an album as I would've hoped for. This wasn't even good, period. Just further proof that for every good Finnish band there's an evil twin out there lurking in any one of the Thousand Lakes. Avoid like FALL OUT BOY.
My impression of this album is quite contrary Znarglaxe's. I got to know this band and album in 2004 or 2005 and my musical taste has expanded tremendously since, to drone doom, raw black and goregrind, as well as styles completely outside metal. Some things I've abandoned almost completely along the road, but I always seem to return to this album. Gone just seems to capture the essence of gothic metal perfectly - it's melodic, romantic, atmospheric and melancholic, and it also seems to have some depth.
I've listened through my fair share of gothic metal albums and while doing that, I've noticed the strength of this album stands out more and more. Song material is far more diverse than on many of the other comparable albums. "Snow White Suicide", "New Dawn" and "Silence Is Killing Me" represent to me the basic catchy melodic gothic metal song - nearly perfect example of it - while "Closer (My Love)" and "Grace" beautifully extend the melancholic and romantic side of it. Despite the forementioned do what they're supposed to more than well, "Losing the Ground", "Thru the Darkness" and "Blood of Your Soul" have even more in them. They're bigger and better, bit more complex and deep. Some bands, including Entwine later on their career, concentrate too much on making the songs radio-friendly, but I don't think that is the case here. The album just seems very real and natural.
Musically the album is what you can expect from a gothic metal album, guitars aren't too heavy and have lots of melodic leads, keyboards are in a major role and bass and drums are more in the background, though the sounds are clear and all of the instruments can be heard. There's no exact virtuosity, but every instrument fills its place, which is kind of the purpose of a band after all. The vocals might be bit whining in the opinions of some, but they work almost perfectly for me as the vocalist sounds manly and sentimental enough, fitting the music. The album isn't too short or long either, though it nicely leaves the listener crave for more. The convenient musicianship, great songs and great production form a great entirety here. Gone actually seems to be even more than what it is made of - you just don't seem to grow tired, but can return to it time after time and it stays enjoyable to listen. That's a sign of a very good album.
Considering 100% equals perfection, why am I giving it 94% then? Gone indeed is probably the best album in its style. I just like to think it's possible to top everything.
This style that so few bands are attempting to perpetuate yet all that do get noticed is intriguing, to me at least. The more or less heavy metal music with a darker note played to slow to mid paced with clean vocals that are not balls in a vice or even operatic is something that is becoming more and more "popular" with the Finnish bands for some reason.
This band (like Sentenced and Charon), is taking that road. Now unlike the other two aforementioned bands, this band on this album has taken a slightly different, and less credible approach. WIth the exception of the way the guitars are played (darker, less melodic but with more tone changes to capture some sort of odd effect) this band has dumbed down the sound. The drums are basic if anything and the bass is laughable. Hell, the vocals have even been raised and the vocalist attempts this half assed vibrato which leaves the listener laughing to the music. Granted there is still some merit to this album, which does have some good points, it is mostly reminiscent of whiny nu metal/whinecore like Staind and even new Opeth (without the gay jazzy shit and the singing through the ass while the microphone is in your rectum), although much more unbearable.
You have to be a big fanboy of that Finnish NuDoom to like this album.