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The Frankness Eve – Smells like Renaissance Spirit - 82%

menkalinan, March 26th, 2012

The first listening of this album doesn't leave too much of an experience. When I heard it, it really didn't seem right. However, since I am a true doom/death fan, I gave it a try and I realised the band has to offer more than the first listening actually showed. When you really dig deep into the melody, you notice the band is composed of real, true blue musicians.

Guitars are what makes the band so good. Skilful, thoughtful, deep, emotional - my words to describe it. A creative use of flute as a background for heavy riffs gives this band an original sound. Elements of Russian/Ukrainian folklore can probably be recognised, but the real effect is that the band sounds archaic, smelling almost like a Renaissance music troupe, even Gothic Medieval if you like (an expression too much in use in metal these days), and the flute is what gives that specific smell. Compliments go for the drummer and the keyboards. Everything is placed in good harmony and the band functions like a good squad who knows its goals. Singing of Vlad Shahin however, I found to be ambivalent. His growling vocals seemed quite all right. I liked it and it gave a good atmosphere to this whole album. Nonetheless, his clean vocals is what irritated me at times and generally didn't leave a good impression. If the band relied solely on his growling vocals and leave the opera singing to somebody else, this would be a much more successful album.

If I had to give my judgement about the songs, one song really stands out from the others: “To Your Deceits... Again”. I have heard a lot of things with the doom/death label on it, and this is one of the best things made in this specific genre. It is quite original and there is really no way to compare it with other bands. Which leads me to the real strength of this band - the originality. It is a shame that this band comes from Ukraine and not from a country with a more developed heavy metal production. This way, their audience will be quite limited and the production wont be able to sell the band to large number of listeners. However, the band demonstrated that Ukraine has something to offer on the heavy metal scene and that further attention should be directed to Easter Europe.

Breathtaking! - 100%

hailmarduk666, April 14th, 2009

This band was introduced to me through a friend who shares a love for Eastern European metal, predominantly from Ukraine, and Russia. I was previously familiar with Autumnia, which is another amazing doom/death metal band from Ukraine, and features the same singer, Vladislav.

Once again, I am not disappointed with the release of this band. There is everything here, from acoustics, to deep, melancholy riffs, from symphonic keys, to airy and light flute passages, from clean angelic vocals to demonic growls. The band has outdone itself in this release, with their emotionally charged dirges, and deep feeling they have put into the music of this release. The album on the whole is EXTREMELY melodic. This is not a release like Esoteric, where there are very slow riffs. This is like the Opeth of doom metal, going from one extreme, of crushing behemoths such as the opening track A Pain to Remember, which is similar to Deliverance in brutality, to Honey for My Wounds, alike the beautiful Benighted. There is also a lot of folk-like melodies throughout this album, such as the beginning of Recover Me in Sores, before the doom begins approximately 45 seconds into the track, where there is acoustics and flutes playing beautiful melodies, coupled with clean vocals, and gives an untamed and nature-like feel. Overall, there is nothing lacking in this album at all. A masterpiece. Here is my breakdown for all aspects of the album:

Production: Fantastic. Every aspect of this album is produced perfectly. There is no aspect that is lacking, all elements have their own pedestal and they are all easily heard and distinguished.

Guitar/Bass: Fabulous. This is an excellent showing of what melodic doom/death should sound like. The way the guitarwork is pieced together adds more power and feeling to the concepts discussed in the lyrics. There are excellent solos, and duel guitarwork, and keep everything moving and fresh. Well done here. The bass is difficult to hear mainly due to the tuned down guitars, but is audible during solos, and acoustic portions. The added bass just helps reinforce the melancholy of the overall album in my opinion, so does it's job well.

Vocals: My favorite aspect of this band. Vladislav has a fantastic growl, and an even better clean voice. His clean singing is not like Mikael Akerfeldt, where his voice is light and soft, but more like Rowan London from Virgin Black, very powerful and majestic. He does an excellent job in changing it up, there are no clean/growled singing that is out of place, and everything fits perfectly.

I am just so impressed with this album. I can play it over and over again, on repeat and not get sick of it. There are not many albums that I can do that with, but this is definitely at the forefront of that list.