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Unfortunately this album starts off pretty limp, after the obligatory useless but expected intro is the track Rebirth of the Nameless, which may panic some fans into believing that Siebenbürgen have become a thrash band. You would have thought a comeback album would open more in the explosive balls-out vein of Plagued Be Thy Angel, never mind eh. Feel free to skip past this soggy piece and get to the goods, as there's a few absolute gems on the album. The best tracks combine energetic blasting with neat riffs seemingly inspired by Gallery-era Dark Tranquillity.
The synths are kept relatively downplayed and serve as a background instrument during the faster, heavier tracks. A couple of moments make greater use of them, allowing a melancholy atmosphere to momentarily take complete control. The most notable example of this is closing track At The End of Twilight, which sounds like it could have been taken from Theatre of Tragedy's Velvet Darkness They Fear. It's a perfect closer for the album and is performed ably by the band's new girly singer Lisa.
Which brings us to the vocals. It's the tried and true beauty-and-the-beast formula with a twist. Having previously decided to follow up 2006's Darker Designs & Images with no female vocals in favour of all that is nasty and crawls out of its grave to listen to Cradle of Filth, Siebenbürgen were swayed upon hearing Lisa Bohwalli Simonsson sing. A different sound is achieved anyway; unlike the dozens of so-called sopranos wailing all over Nightwish-wannabe records everywhere, Lisa has a more rock and roll approach. She belts out the choruses of Infernalia, the title track and The Soulless with real gusto, and is far more noticeable than another soprano would have been. This doesn't mean she can't sing in a more ethereal voice as well however, and she adds a Liv Kristine quality to After The Wolf and the aforementioned outro. M. Ehlin's rasps are another matter though; while his gurgling style is appropriate to the music, it quickly becomes monotonous. A few tortured screams or vicious growls in the right places would have livened things considerably; instead the listener finds themselves listening to the album for the guitars and Lisa's occasional outbursts.
Revelation VI contains five or six extremely good songs but its fair share of bore as well. Its not the comeback that's going to catapult the swedes' career to the next level, but it will satisfy their fans and maybe attract a few new ones. If you find yourself short of cash and looking to pick up the best gothic metal album of 2008 however, this isn't going to occupy you very long. In that case you may want to go for Moonspell instead. For the Darzamat fan this surpasses Darker Designs and lives up to the standards set by Plagued Be Thy Angel.
Highlights: Infernalia, Revelation VI, S.I.N, The Oaken Throne, The Soulless