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Dense and Beautiful - 90%

FastFingers, June 24th, 2005

This album really has something special. Each song is a work of art with swirling melodies and as much emotion as I've ever heard in metal. There is so much atmosphere provided by the keyboards and melodies that this album rarely gets old. It feels a lot like if Katatonia were to go back to playing metal but kept the same sort of emotiveness and melody they have now.

The use of the female vocals are excellent as they have been doubled and reverbed into sounding like a choir. The growls are excellent and never too high in the mix but also never too low. As far as instruments go, nothing sticks out as really amazingly technical but everything adds to the atmosphere. The bass is probably my favorite instrument. It has many good lines that are a bit tricky sounding but never out of place. It is also quite high in the mix. The rhythm section in this band do an excellent job holding down the low end while nice wet guitar sounds and keyboards sweep around the melodies.

One of the best pieces of the album is the production. It is perfect. Everything is crystal clear. I love this sort of production. I don't dislike raw black metal production because that is part of the character of the music but I love this type of clear production because nothing gets lost.

If I had one complaint it would be poor choice of keyboard sounds. Sometimes they just start sounding too technoey. More organ or piano sounds would benefit this album.

Take a listen to Conflict or Rapture.