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Surprisingly NOT what you'd expect - 95%

VibrationsOfDoom, September 2nd, 2006

Well, after jumping around from many labels, Firebox picked up these guys. At first glance I knew they had to be good this time around if they were on a label with such high quality acts. "Gothic metal" would be the lazy journalists' way of describing their sound, however from track one immediately you can hear that there's some aggressive instrumentation and a dynamic use of sound that gives them the ability to just rock. The vocal work is almost death metal oriented at times, proving that aggressiveness is NOT out of place here. Somehow everything works out well. As I progressed through track 9, I wondered where the lead solos were, as you'll never hear the leads blazing away at 100 miles per hour, but then again the songs are structured where you wouldn't NEED them. In fact there's more lead solos on that aforementioned 9th track ('Quiet Citizen') than there are on the whole album! Each of these songs varies from lighter to heavier passages, which I think is one of the most unique trademarks of the album. Even the bass guitars and drums are a bit more up front and powerful than what you'd expect if you submitted to lazy journalism and called these musicians "goth rockers" or "atmospheric gothic metal." Or whatever! The fact of the matter is, lighter moments slowly build to heavier ones, and the vocal work is DEFINITELY emotional and soaring when it needs to be. The finnish constructors KNOW how to write songs with catchy choruses and melodic material, and the melodies and vocals you'll be remembering after the first few listens. If they're on Firebox, then they have to be good, something I knew almost right away BEFORE I even listened to the CD.