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So this is my first full-length from TPH. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I’d head the opening track before (At the Entrance to Hell’s Unholy Fires), and instantly loved it, but one song is never a guarantee. Well, I have to say the rest of the album lives up to it.
The first aspect is the split of 3 styles. They have the standard mix of melodic with the very heavy death metal, but I noticed some techno/industrial influences as well (especially in the drumming). They even had a few techno remixes of “At the Entrance…”, which were surprisingly good. Now, onto the instruments…
The guitars were excellent. Well-played and well thought-out all the way through. They keep your interest, from the heavy, chugging riffs, to the softer leads. I love the guitar tone, it’s dirty without being too dirty, and it really fits the music all over. Even the softer parts were perfect. I noticed some nice effects all over (namely, on Resurrected for Massive Torture). He also wrote riffs for many emotions, from very aggressive to very sad and melancholy.
The bass, for once, I could hear fairly well! It’s a very…boing-ey sound, somehow, and it’s excellently played. Interestingly enough, it’s played by the bassist for Evergrey! The 2 bands play very different music, but he does an excellent job here.
The drums are very well executed. They are programmed, although this works as an advantage (unlike most programmed drums). It allows for several sounds to fit each kind of music. Most noticeable is the difference between the “metal” sound and the “techno” sound. Nice addition.
Now, for the highlight of the album, are the vocals. There are two singers, so I’ll do one at a time.
First, I’ll cover the growls. All I can say is ...wow. Jorgen is one hell of a growler! Heavy, brutal, thick, and aggressive, these are some of the best I’ve ever heard! And that’s saying something. He can go VERY deep (Resurrected for Massive Torture), but he usually uses a nice mid-level growl (best shown on At the Entrance…) with some black-metally high growls thrown in. They actually had 17 backing growlers on one song…not that he needs it. Excellent performance.
Then, the female singer. Again, wow. This girl has such an amazing range on her voice, you’ll think there’s 3 people singing! She uses a deep-ish, spoken word type of voice a bit, it adds a nice effect to parts. Her other voices are the real highlight. She has an excellent soft voice, with a hint of opera-type vocals at parts. It’s really haunting, and sends shivers up my spine at times. Her next voice is more projected, a bit stronger, and still amazing. She sounds literally horny while singing this way. Considering the lyrics (“I yearn for Bloodshed, Father oh, I yearn”), it sounds really freaky. She was compared to Amy Lee (by Dan Swano, no less), although that’s an understatement. To quote someone on the TPH forum, she can make Amy Lee sound like Jabba the Hutt!
I’ll mention the programmed stuff, as well. They used MIDI keyboards and violin/atmospheric parts, and choirs. It gives a nice effect, or ambience to a lot of areas. Very well done here as well.
Overall, this is a true masterpiece of metal. Nearly everything about it is perfect. In the sense that this is probably my 2nd favorite album of the year, and could easily make it onto my top 10 of all time. It’s THAT damn good.
This has to be one of my favorite albums of all time, these musicians are absolutely amazing. This is definitely my new favorite band, this CD has not left my player. I have changed the other 4, but not this one.
The album starts you off with instantaneous death metal. No lead up, no intro, just heavy guitars playing a somewhat catchy riff and some very growly death vox. The techno breaks do a nice job of keeping the heaviness from becoming mundane or overbearing without making the music sound industrial. Some very DnB sounding break beats give some flavor, as well as Jo's singing. The way the clean female vocals intertwine with Lord K's vox is very pleasing to the ear, not to mention almost operettic. A bit of the album sounds similar but never gets repetitive. They bring the tempo down a little on Godslaughtering Murder Machine, but I don't think there's anything on this album that would qualify as a ballad. It never hits Opeth's Damnation feel. One of the other things I love about this album is the almost sarcastic names of some of the songs...Resurrected For Massive Torture, We Couldn't be Farther from the Truce, etc. Overall I would give this album a 100, but I might have to eat it if they put out something better, which is entirely possible