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symphony of horror - 73%

Apophis, April 6th, 2004

For want of a better, and altogether more kinder, way of describing this album... think of the better aspects of the majority of Cradle Of Filth's albums - ie the bits that are actually good and aren't drowned out in the OTT histrionics of Dani Filth - particularly those which create more atmosphere, and then add a sprinkling of Victorian macabre horror stories and vibes into the mix.

The songs on this album do each individually have the ability to shine as much if not more than those sat either side of it on the tracklisting. The only downside is, once you get more than two or three songs into the album, no matter how much perseverance you have, the songs all soon tend to blur together into a rather formulaeic strings-chug-tenor-chug-more strings kind of pattern, desensitizing the audience to the effect that the music could have the ability to have.

The by far and away best track on this album, which by coincidence perhaps, is the one being used to market the album - 'The Deathship Symphony'. This mixes the likes of orchaestral strings, Hammer Horror influenced electronica and the admittedly unique vocal approach of the resident Tenor employed for the occasion.

Overall a very good album, it's just a damn shame that listening to the tracks in playlist order, desensitizes you so much so that by the time you get to the best (and last) track on the album you don't really care anymore about anything the music has to say, which is a shame really because this is quite clearly the horror metal can be, without falling into the schlock-jokey horror of the likes of Necrophagia and Rob Zombie.