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An astounding effort from an overlooked band - 97%

Xeper, May 31st, 2003

From the very opening, the ambient folky melodies had me convinced I'd bought the right album, and boy was I right. We have here 3 songs (which nevertheless clock in at EP length, little under half an hour) which bleed with emotion, talent, and songwriting. Instead of riding the same slow riff like a lot of doom bands for minutes on end and moaning monotonously, these guys throw in tons of sad and heavy riffs that would make October Tide proud, while layering on top of them gorgeous melodic leads, whether they be electric or done on acoustic guitars. They have those soaring leads which, although not overly complex, pick just the right notes so that the guitar practically weeps, something I've only heard bands like Katatonia do (not that they sound overly similar, per se, they both just have that exquisitely tasteful note selection in the guitar department that so few bands can really nail). But unlike newer Katatonia, these guys keep it heavy while still morose. The singer does some clean singing which, although somewhat low, never falls into the category of cartoonish goth singers, while at other times opting for screams/growls where they best complement the songs, so plenty of versatility there. The drum sound left me feeling like a dumbass, because I'm a drummer and when I first put the cd on I immediately liked how the drums were perfectly audible but not in the least overproduced, great balance between bass and snare, slightly soft snare tone fit the music perfectly, and so on, until I read that it was actually a drum machine, and I was even more impressed because you seriously can't tell just by listening. So don't be afraid of some cheap-sounding Casio crap, none of that here. The minimal use of keyboards and violins(only once or twice) are almost unnoticeable but succeed in adding atmosphere without approaching the typical overbearing melodrama that many goth bands suffer from. Brilliant songwriting, while the songs may be long they're never too long, they're well-written so that no minute is wasted, they're not long for the sake of being long, they just happen to be songs that take time to unfold without being pretentious and "oh look we're so epic" like some other bands I won't name. Fantastic release here, well worth your money if you're looking for a unique doom metal band with just enough melody to not sound bland, and perfectly balanced songwriting to match.