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The Amott brothers strike again - 94%

Crimsonblood, September 8th, 2002

The most obvious aspect of Wages Of Sin (and one that is mentioned far too often) is Angela Gossow on vocals. Yes, she is a woman, and yes she has a great death metal voice. Now that that little tidbit is out of the way lets get down to the music and the release as a whole.

Wages Of Sin simply smokes from beginning to end. The songs are varied, with fast tempos, slow tempos, mid-paced tempos, atmospheric and dark sounding riffs all woven into each song. No song is a straight speed attack, and no song is a straight mid-tempo crunch. Because of that every song has its own identity, and it's a damn good identity because the overall feeling is one of a crushing but melodic force that engulfs the listener at every turn. I personally think this is very close to a perfect mix of Death/Thrash Metal riffs and subtle melodies- and that is without any keyboard use or clean vocals. This just goes to show what great song writers the band are and that they have improved from their previous releases, which while still being good, are inferior to Wages Of Sin in my opinion.

Other highlights of the CD include extremely tight rhythms that most Swedish based bands are known for. It's no surprise because we all know Eraldson and D'Angelo are some of the best in their field, and the tightness and precision from the two is outstanding. Of course, the great production helps; I just love that double bass power. Another aspect that is worth mentioning is the use of atmospheric parts to accentuate the guitar solos (which are very good mind you). These solos and many riffs, too, usually build up to something really amazing, and that leads for a high level of interest from the listener.

The only very minor fault of this release is maybe 1 to 3 very, very short lived lull's in certain songs that I could have done without- although is must be said that this is extreme nitpicking. Otherwise I enjoyed this release from beginning to end; although certain killer
songs such as "Enemy Within" and "Dead Bury Their Dead" are noticeably better than "Web Of Lies" and "Heart Of Darkness", even though the latter two songs are still very enjoyable. I highly recommend this release to Death/Thrash fans that also enjoy melody in their music.

To comment on the other reviews. I was never a huge fan of Johan Liiva, although I thought he sounded a lot better on Burning Bridges, and while Black Earth is a true classic, I preferred this release.