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Really good goth rock/metal - 84%

Noktorn, July 23rd, 2008

For what amounts to a gothic metal release, this is very good and to some degree devoid of Theatres Des Vampires cheese. I'm not going to try and justify the warbling, UK goth rock style vocals, but they do work for what they are. Nor am I going to try and rationalize the really, really cheesy (but pretty excellent, honestly) synth intro. The rest of the music is surprisingly palatable though, even to people who think Sisters Of Mercy are worthy of a trip to the gas chamber.

Black Crucifixion ostensibly began as a raw black metal band, but there's really no trace of that sound anywhere on this record, which I guess makes sense since it came out after a decade of work and seven years after the band's last EP. This can barely be called metal most of the time and it's just a bit of extra intensity to the guitars and drums which occasionally make it so; calling this a goth rock album wouldn't really be missing the mark at all. It's a great goth rock album though, full of good, subtle keyboard melodies, intelligently crafted and structured riffs, and a very clean yet not sterile production job.

The best song is probably 'Scandinavian Melancholy' which would make the members of My Dying Bride cry hot, salty tears of frustration over their general inability to muster up songs of equal emotional intensity. The rest is good too though; steady goth rock/metal tracks that have uniformly good riffs and melodies, even if the vocals are rather silly and the drums just sort of there. It's not an amazing album but I like it a lot. When I'm in the mood for gothic music, I put this on pretty regularly, since there's just enough heaviness to make me not feel like a total pussy but it's emo enough to make me have a good cry while clutching an Eeyore doll with all my might.

Since it took like forever to make this album I seriously doubt Black Crucifixion will ever release anything else, but this album would be a pretty good tombstone to one of metal's more curious bands. All the fans of mid-era Katatonia or Paradise Lost would probably enjoy this, as do those who delight in gothic music in general. But really I recommend it to just about anyone; if you can suspend your grimness and brutality for a little while, it's a very good listen that stays interesting through many a play.