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Holy shit, they improved (a lot)! - 88%

PorcupineOfDoom, January 4th, 2015

I don't know what dragged me back here, I really don't. I pretty much despised the last album Echoes of Eternity released, and although it had some good features (or rather one in the form of their singer), it was an abysmal piece of work. But, for one reason or another I am back to look at this and decide if the band has improved at all between records.

And oh my goodness, they actually have! I was totally not expecting that. I was expecting more shitty guitar chugging with random notes that don't fit in to just dominate the music, but that's not the case. Can it be counted as the greatest work man has ever achieved? No, not by a long shot, but it's progress. There's still a lot of chugging, but there is more variety throughout and every song actually has its own style to it. The melodic sections actually fit in without me questioning what the hell the band was hoping to achieve, and I'm actually tempted to stand up and applaud the lead guitarist for his improvement.

Unfortunately the biggest loser as a result of this is the drummer, whose average level seems to drop drastically due to not having another instrument that merits a negative score to compliment his skills. Most of his stuff is blast beats once again, but it fits in better this time than last. Once again the vocals are a bit of a contrast with this, which is slightly off-putting, but with the guitars actually working this time it makes the band sound surprisingly good. It is an unusual mixture, but one that the band could most likely profit from using. Francine certainly has a voice worth listening to at any rate.

I can kind of see how this is progressive unlike on the last record, but there are so many different elements on display here. You'd be surprised to hear that they combine metalcore, groove, progressive, heavy, gothic and symphonic metals here (even a very small amount of black/death), but despite that sounding like too much for them to handle they pull it off far better than I'd have thought they could have. If someone had said that they'd tried that on As Shadows Burn then I would have listened to it much sooner, simply to hear the band crash and burn so that I could point and laugh. Never in a million years did I expect to hear them pull that off. Are we one hundred per cent sure that this is the same band that recorded The Forgotten Goddess?

I might have made fun of them for what they did on their last full-length, but this is an improvement worth telling people about. I genuinely was expecting to hear the same shit recycled into a package, possibly to the extent that it became worse than before, but this is definitely not like that. Maybe they were just acting bad on their first album to make this one seem better (in which case the guitarist deserves an Oscar). It's actually unbelievable. My mind just can't process it. I've never heard a band improve this much in two years.

The last time I got this excited about something was when Lewis Hamilton passed Timo Glock in Brazil with 400 metres to go before the end of the race to win the world championship by a point. Jesus, I'm getting worried about myself now. Go and listen to it now, you'll be surprised just how much better they are on this album!