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Too much metal and not enough folk - 69%

kluseba, October 30th, 2010

The first song already shows the new direction of the band. Just like their colleagues from "Subway to Sally", they deliver a much straighter and darker album than the last ones and go away from their charming folk roots that made them so special.

Don't get me wrong, songs like the opener "Des Königs Henker" or "Salz der Erde" have great choruses and are brilliant live anthems, but the riffs are too simple and the band loses its uniqueness by adapting such an Industrial Metal style. Many songs on this album sound quite similar and there aren't many surprises.

The strongest part of this album is the middle part. The very unusual, ethereal and hypnotizing melancholically ballad "Tote Augen" delivers something completely new and unique, "Tritt ein" is a positive folk anthem and works really well during the band's concerts and reminds me of the older and later works of the band. "Mondlicht" is a little bit harder and straighter but has some surprising folk parts and really romantic and intense lyrics as well as a great chorus. "Ecce gratum" and also the bonus track "Equinox" are average acoustic folk songs that give you some chills after many aggressive songs. The album's sound is really too loud and not well produced and concentrated on the ordinary riff shredding of the guitars and that's why the acoustic songs, even if they are not really convincing, give a well deserved break to the fans.

The main problem is that the album focuses too much on the guitar play, but Saltatio Mortis don't have excellent guitar players and are more convincing when they focus on the folk parts. They concentrate on their weak points rather than on their unique sounds. There are still four or five really good songs on the album but half of this album's songs are too hard, too similar, and too ordinary.

This album is one of the weaker records from Saltatio Mortis and I wouldn't recommend beginning with this album to get into this band, I would recommend picking the great follow-up "Aus der Asche".