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The king is naked. - 35%

oneyoudontknow, September 20th, 2012

The debut release of the American “funeral doom” band Herodias can be described without much of a difficulty and in one word: shallow. This particular genre has never been too prominent for exquisitely crafted and designed music, which makes this rather harsh reduction to one term maybe a bit unfair. Nevertheless, it is appropriate and cannot be discussed away, not neglected when it comes to writing on the quality of the performance of this band.

'Dance of the Seven Veils' is bad … it is really bad. Well, what are the reasons for this, then? In some respect it is the endless repetition of one idea over the course of an entire album. With a focus on the vocals of 'Kristina Rocco' the approach takes a step into a region not many bands will be able to follow them. She has a good voice and has most certainly received some training in using it. There is skill, there is a lot of charm, there is the ability to express it and a good amount of vocal range.

And this would be the only positive aspect of this release. There it all ends. It is this 'outstanding' characteristic that becomes more and more of a burden the longer the music meanders on. Why? Well, there is nothing to back it up. An extraordinarily boring and uninspiring drum-computer plays a minimalist pattern in the background – and this would be true of each of the compositions – and something like a counterpoint to her voice is nowhere to be found. All is kept minimalist, repetitive, nothing is there to disturb her presence; just as if she would break the moment some kind of challenge occurs. It drags on and on and on … and it is her part to attempt to keep the attention of the listener.

Actually and one has to be consequent: this is not metal. It is an ambient release with metal/noise facets and operatic vocals on top of it. Guitars are there, but a longer and consistent melody is only allowed to appear on some rare cases. Samples pop-up here and there, as well as a bit of noise and that's it. In conceptual depth it reminds on 'Until Death Overtakes Me'. Music that fails to appeal intellectually and therefore has to rely on the emotions.

While writing these lines, the band already has a new output listed at their Metal Archives profile – it would be their second for 2012. And this is no surprise, because the compositions are as such as they can be written in legion in a matter of days. 'Kristina Rocco + X' is the current formula for this band. Like the sirens have attempted to lure Odysseus unto their island, her part fulfils an equal task: to hover over everything and to add an aura of grandeur to something that would barely be worth noting and would be unable to stand on its own feet. It may be good for a spin now and then, but sooner or later the façade will crumble and the listener will be left in a state of tiredness and boredom.