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Encyclopaedia Metallum

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An excellent release, pity it was so short - 97%

literamaniac91, July 4th, 2007

Let me put it to you this way. The only reason that I'm not giving this EP a perfect score, is because the acoustic re-arrangements, while good, make my inner metalhead squirm. And the acoustic re-arrangement of "Red Reflection" isn't exactly brilliant either. That being said, this EP is packed with more quality material from the New Jersey act.

This EP is split into two halfs. The first half is original material. The second half is acoustic re-arrangements of songs from the band's debut album "Nocturnal Dawn".

The original material is more of the same from Divinity. Solid songwriting, excellent vocal melodies, and just enough headbanger moments to keep you happy. I'd go into detail about each song, except that while the songs don't all sound the same, they are all good for nearly the same reasons. That would be, excellent performances from all of the band's members, well-executed vocal melodies, solid riffing and keyboard work, etc. However, I will point out the stand-outs in each song. "Haven" has the most recognizable intro and starts the album on a good note. "These Waking Dreams" has the best chorus and the best keyboard performance on the whole EP (watch for the piano break right before each chorus, fucking amazing), and is also my favorite song on the whole EP. "Prism" is noticeable for having no intro and ending the same way it began, while raging around in-between. It's basically structured chaos. Truly has to be heard.

The acoustic re-arrangements...well...first things first. This is the Encyclopaedia Metallum. Acoustic versions aren't very metal. These re-recordings may not be for everyone. That being said, these re-arrangements are actually pretty damn good. Granted, the new version of "Red Reflection" wasn't mind-blowing (hence, the imperfect score) but it is still solid and shouldn't be kipped over.. Most interesting is the acoustic re-arrangement of "Void". Originally, "Void" was one of the band's most headbangable songs, and it was difficult to imagine it acoustically. Imagine no more, the acoustic version is solid as hell and features a very good performance by Jim Cowen on the acoustic bass actually. The best thing about these new versions is Mark Ward's vocals, which in the new acoustic setting are done with particular gusto and truly make you notice his vocal talents. Best example of this is the final song on the EP, the new version of "Forsaken". A truly excellent vocal performance on "Forsaken", and on the whole album in general I might add.

Overall, a solid release, well worth the purchase price. The acoustic versions should be tackled with an open mind for proper enjoyment, but in my opinion, they do not detract from the EP's quality in the least bit. My only qualm is that it was over so soon.

Recommended tracks: all