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Finnish know-how at its finest - 96%

Amortem, June 10th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, Reaper Entertainment

At this point it feels like competent metal bands are an unlimited natural resource in Finland. Gladenfold is a great addition to the fields of sypmhonic and virtuose like metal. You can't help but just wonder where all these bands are coming from. Five years in the making "When Gods Descend" definitely doesn't sound weak or fumbling, even though this is only a second full-length release from them. The band is ready and knows what it's doing. Even the first song "The Descent of Gods" plays out convincingly, melodically and stylishly. Symphonic elements, the skill with instruments and versatile vocal work are convincing in every level.

Gladenfold plays epic and symphonic power metal with some light death metal influences on top. The next song "Immortalis" at first sounds almost like Kamelot before it moves seamlessly to growling vocals. The mix works perfectly and the music flows freely, breathing even. Awesome guitar riffs and solos are following each other; as a listener you quickly notice stomping your foot on the ground and the catching music is easy to enjoy. "When Gods Descend" however is not the type of CD that you can just put in your player and hit play; in fact you have to listen to it a few times through before it hits you. This is because of the diversity of the music itself and the information it contains.

Almost amusingly catching song "Sanctuary Denied" is a great advocate for its genre. I appreciate the band's talent to create similiar feelings and atmospheres, while spicing it up with some of the heavier elements aswell. Vocalist Esko Itälä is a very talented and diverse singer and his talents really shine on this album; especially during the clean vocals. There's talent to be seen in the composition aswell; even though the songs are catchy and easy to raise your beer to they're still really versatile and fresh. Every time you listen to one of the songs you find something new.

After a light ballad that is "Ghost Of Our Past" plays out "Unreligion" which is the heaviest song of the album. The majestic and heavy song gets better and better after every time you listen to it. Despite it's heaviness it doesn't forget clean vocals, and the ending of the song is just a cherry on top. "Shadows And Dust" hits the "Children of Bodom meets Kamelot" gear on and somehow whether it's by some miracle or just skilled musicianship, the song works out really well. Despite it's influences Gladenfold plays out as itself; the band have their own strong identity and their own place in the genre. The album ends on a 7-minute, perfectly named, "Last Goodbyes" which starts out with a peaceful melody and perfectly strings up the whole album leaving no loose ends.

"When Gods Descend" is a great entirety. Bonus points also from the perfect 10 song lenght that this album is. Interest is with you the whole album, there are no slow or boring moments, and the album is easy to start again from the beginning after "Last Goodbyes" ends. Gladenfold is band which is here to stay, and potential for upcoming masterpieces is immense.