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kind of sucks really - 55%

Noktorn, June 29th, 2010

No one appears to know this band's debut album, but copies of the second float around cheaply in the underground metal scene. It's the sort of budget-priced thing you get filling out a lot on Ebay composed of mainly Pavement titles- not bad, but hardly on anyone's 'best ever' list. In this case, Dies Irae plays a variety of modern melodic death metal generally resembling newer In Flames with touches of goth or 'dark metal' here and there. More importantly, there's some rather large hints of prog on the disc that help differentiate it from the legions of Gothenburg wannabes out there; I'm not a particularly big fan of those touches, but your mileage may vary.

In general this is a very rockish album, taking new In Flames' penchant for alt-rock leaning melodeath and combining it with a slightly more metallic delivery. The tracks are highly melodic, with somewhat screechy, black metal vocals riding on top of bouncy Gothenburg riffs or slower, more articulate prog sections. The prog is typically used to break up the more lengthy mute'n'pop melodeath riffs, with rather long excursions into winding prog territory abruptly coming back to the main flow of the music. The general feeling it gives is one of the band getting distracted in the middle of recording and returning to the song when they tire of improvisation. All the instrumental performances are very clean and quite technical, for what it's worth.

Nothing on this is particularly memorable, though I will say that the riffs are typically solid and some of the basswork is almost astoundingly nuanced for music this simple and direct. It seems like a lot of emphasis in this music is placed on the prog sections rather than the catchier, more logical melodeath ones- the problem with this, of course, being that Dies Irae can't write memorable prog or memorable melodeath, but the latter is much more fun to listen to than the former if you don't have any novel ideas. They really just turn the album into a slog, and at over an hour in length this is an almost unbearably protracted release.

I've heard much worse material than this and all but this still kind of sucks and I would rather just listen to new Dark Tranquillity.

Mexican Melodic Death - 85%

daks, May 13th, 2008

Well well, let this not confuse you with the other bands out there named Dies Irae. However this is my favourite of them, why? Because I'm a fan of melodic death.

This is Dies Irae from Mexico. The album was recorded and produced in Sweden, which I feel has made the album sound alot better than it would have. Although I'm hoping the Mexican influences weren't forgotten.

I've had this album for a good 4 years now and its now I've really started to appreciate it. The standout tracks are; Sculpted in Stone, Blurred and Parallel Universe (pt 1).

The first two tracks on the album are blatantly Gothenburg sounding, fast, intense and a lot of energy. They give a false indication of how the album is going to carry on. It changes feeling dramatically after track 2 as if, this album was written progressively.

The guitars throughout the album are quite standard Gothenburg influenced, for all you melodeath'ers out there surely this will not bother you one bit. I think having the guitars any more interesting/technical would have lost its Gothenburg focus. What I appreciate the most from the guitarists is the rare epic solo and the fact that they always give the opportunity for the bass stand out.

And talking about bass, wow, he's done a very good job and to be quite honest I think without the work of the bassist, this album wouldn't be near as good as it is. What I love about the bass is you can feel and hear the emotion and feeling he has put into it. His solo's and bass work through out the album will surely prove this to any bass enthusiast out there.
From around 4:45 on track "Blurred" will show you exactly what I mean. The Parallel Universe pt1 bass is something that stands out to me in this album.

As for the drums, the drums are quite experimental and leaning towards the technical side of things. However, he does push it a bit at some parts of various songs. The production on the drum kit, gives a real atmospheric space like feel to the album which I think is what they wanted to achieve.

Probably the biggest let down in the musicianship is the lyrics and vocals.. Don't get me wrong, his blackish styled vocals give the album its darkness and emotion, but his poor English has ruined it.

In conclusion, the atmosphere, emotion and energy this album gives out to the listener is a very significant step in making this album what it is and how to appreciate it. When everything is put together it makes the final listening product quite pleasant to listen to.. if it is fair to say.. I feel a piece of Mexico from this disc.

Very good, if formulaic, melodeath - 81%

deepred, April 14th, 2008

I only heard this album because I downloaded the first two songs accidentally. And they absolutely killed. And upon playing it, I had no idea who they were, but it had 'Gothenburg' stamped all over it. But those opening tracks were a cut above: fast, memorable, technical melodeath. Imagine my surprise when I discovered they were from Mexico.

So I bought the album. Unfortunately, nothing else matched up to the blistering assault of the first two tracks. Musically, they are solid, although the vocals sound awkward at times, particularly in the clean sections. The clumsy English doesn't help either. But the bassist is something else. Phenomenal. This kind of melodeath doesn't provide an adequate vehicle for him to maximise his potential, but on the couple of instrumental tracks on this album, he owns them. It's a pity the guitar leads don't quite reach his level.

If you love melodeath, this will be a worthwhile investment. If not, the first two songs are excellent but the rest of the album will bore you.

Mexico's Own IN FLAMES!!!!!! - 55%

demonomania, October 4th, 2005

I really wanted to like this CD, I really did. Unfortunately, the guys at DIES IRAE made it impossible to do so. They sound exactly like a million Swedish melodic death bands, and if the liner notes didn't say so I'd swear this was an album by the aforementioned kings of melo-cheese. In fact, the album proudly proclaims that the disc was produced by a Swede - too bad it completely obscures any sort of national identity Dies Irae may have had.

The first two songs are fast and blistering, and I had high hopes that maybe the rest of the album would produce a truly heavy song or two. But by track 4 I came to the sad realization that this would not be so - the guitar does its best to avoid heaviness (lots of repetition too, ala IN FLAMES), the drums seem to follow strange patterns not conducive to the rest of the band's sound, the vocals are of the strangled, high, blackish variety (ala IN FLAMES), but the bassist is surprisingly good. They even give him a solo from time to time.

"Blurred" is a great song title, as it adequately describes what happens to every track post track three. Once the clean vocals came in, I just sort of tuned it all out - hoping for an exciting part of two. And there were some good parts, including long drum and bass solos in one of the tracks, and the stunningly bizzare and bad "Slow, Slow." What the hell is going on here? The vocals seem to be done horribly on purpose, and the whole track sounds like a Nirvana outtake. It is like a trainwreck - horrible to see, but you just can't stop looking.

I wish this were better. How cool would it be to have a great new death metal band from Mexico in my collection? In great sadness, however, I must proclaim that "Naive" is none too good. Then again, Mexico does have revenge upon Sweden for unleashing post-"Colony" IN FLAMES on the earth.