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Catchy Melodic Death Metal - 77%

ObscureInfinity, December 7th, 2010

The mid-90s is generally known as the time when Swedish death metal started to transition into what we'd come to know as the "Gothenburg" sound. However, right smack in the middle of those time periods was a short-lived melodic death metal scene. Bands such as Unanimated, Embracing, Decameron, A Canorous Quintet, Eucharist, A Mind Confused, and The Moaning, among others, were (mostly) short-lived bands who played in the style that served as a precursor to the Gothenburg melodeath that was to come. These bands were melodic yet still undeniably retained the DEATH metal in their sound.

The Moaning's sole release, 'Blood From Stone', showcases melodic black/death metal in a way that bridges the gap between melodic death metal and Gothenburg. The Gothenburg is noticeable and there are definitely sections that remind me of In Flames. Regardless, the Gothenburg elements add a nice touch and each song is catchy while still maintaining the intensity of black/death metal. The mix works better than one would expect and would probably appeal to fans of both melodic death metal and Gothenburg melodeath.

The album flows together well and keeps you interested with its catchy melodies and relentless blasting sections. The first and last songs are well-placed openers and closers and make the album effectively coherent. The riff-work stands out and is memorable in its tendency to be rather catchy.

My one complaint is that there isn't anything particularly mind-blowing about this album and it certainly doesn't compare to melodic death metal masterpieces like At the Gates' 'The Red in the Sky is Ours' or Eucharist's 'A Velvet Creation'. I would, however, recommend anyone into melodic death metal and/or Gothenburg to seek this out as it stands its ground as a worthwhile gem in the genre.