Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2021
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Wound-Healing Therapies That Don’t Seem to Work - 47%

bayern, January 4th, 2021

Chameleonic transformations we have here, ones that were initially wound-inducing, but those are the ones that one should pay more attention to as on this first instalment the band were in a really creative mode, pulling out intriguing enough technical/progressive thrash/deathy (more thrash than death) hybrid, not very far from what the Chechs Scenery and the Spaniards Unreal Overflows were trying to produce at around the same time; melodic mid-paced, atmospheric music which wouldn’t appeal to the headbangers much, but would surely attract crowds from the less scholastic prog-metal circle, including fans of later-period Opeth.

Then came “Decrowning” which didn’t quite decrown the band, offering similar stuff, maybe a tad more death metal-fixated, with a more complex main frame and a larger array of dark atmospheric tricks. Three in a row with “Reptile Tide” that came out two years later? Nah, not really; this opus saw the guys moving towards the progressive power metal genre with still roaming shades of thrash and death, the added gothic melancholia making this album sound like the more aggressive, more dynamic analogue to the works of the Swedes Katatonia. Not the most drastic metamorphosis on the scene, provided that the first two albums were also more melody than aggression-prone, this outing also drew the outlines along which every other subsequent one developed, a mixture of all the mentioned styles, with melo-death brought back to the fore on “Show Your Colours” for a marginally more dynamic, Gothenburg school-styled fiesta; and with “Beneath” and “Fallen Leaves & Dead Sparrows” focusing more on the mellower heavy/power metal, even rock if you like, side of this disparate, not very homogenous conglomerate.

There’s nothing wrong with a band opting for various styles along the way; it’s just that in this amoral case here the abandonment of the more aggressive roots is tantamount to a loss of originality and enthusiasm; in large amounts at that. By the time this album reviewed here got released, the band reduced themselves to a pretty standard, run-of-the mill progressive metal outfit, disguising their lack of identity with larger-than-life compilations. The vocal duel up front: the familiar from the guys’ early exploits guttural deathy presence and a much more convincing emotional clean croon the latter, naturally, occupying a much bigger space; a somewhat debatable, dubious symbiosis which adds more to the musical banality on display, having in mind the myriad outfits adhering to that same blend behind the mike at present...

not that a commonplace effort of the kind deserves any better; the gothic doomy balladisms of the title-track early suggest at the direction taken; this is going to be an even more poignant setting, the spirit of Opeth called for help on the surprisingly vivid “The Betrayal”, an extreme metal concoction that enlivens the environment big time, but alas, it receives very little support from the remainder which features the seriously sleep-inducing idyll “Sounds of Home”. Yep, going home seems like a really good option after that one, with “The Next One” being a jumpy alternative rockabilia, and “Helping Hands” sticking again to the underwhelming balladic realms. The more fulsome utilization of the death metal throat on “Defuse the Past” seems like a desirable distraction, but music-wise this is goofy psychedelic/spacey progressive without a certain direction, with the near-11min long dragger “From the Beginning” relying on anti-climactic gothic doomisms to provide the suitably lethargic finale.

Repetitive, inertia-absorbing, and openly minimalistic, this opus can be rightfully viewed the nadir of the band’s career, as it was obvious that by that point in time they simply had no fresh ideas and inspiring visions to prolong their journey. They sure had their fun roaming around the progressive metal roster, tried quite a few things along the way, decided that some of those should be entertained longer, but ultimately failing to convince too many people that the escape from their more rigid but definitely more compelling and structured prog-death/thrashy past was worth tucking away in this untimely, not very ceremonious manner. Not surprisingly, they folded shortly after its release, the major distraction provided by the retro thrash formation Tornado which “swept” away half of the line-up here for a not very lengthy, three-album spell. Worked alright, this collaboration, decidedly better than the fading Amoral career... the only regret concerning the fate of the vocalist Ari Koivunen who didn’t join said Tornado; a young gifted singer who won a talent show on Finnish TV at first, abandoning his first project under his own name in order to join the band here. However, he sagaciously kept his place in the long-running outfit Raskasta Joulula, heavy/power metal providers who are still alive and well...

he simply couldn’t trust fully his amoral colleagues; he knew only too well that a sequence comprising wounds, decrowning attempts, reptiles, and fallen leaves was sooner or later going to hit a dead sparrow... sorry, end. Better stick with not very adventurous, tried-and-tested formulas... far-reaching musical therapies sometimes fail to produce the expected lofty results.