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Cheesy, over-the-top, blackened vampiric fun. - 85%

greywanderer7, July 7th, 2012

WARNING: This album may only (or mostly) appeal to goth or symphonic black metal fans. If you're either, keep on reading. If you're not, maybe you should stay as away as possible from this, because chances are you're going to fucking hate it.

What we have here is a gothic metal album, with symphonic black metal leanings, which manages to sound even cheesier and more gimmicky than Cradle of Filth. They sought to give the music a vampiric atmosphere, but they did it using nearly every single vampiric cliché in existance, through the lyrics, the excess of horror-movie sounding keyboards (you know, organs and stuff) and the male/female choirs. On paper, it sounds completely fucking terrible, doesn't it? Well, the case is that it isn't.

Why? Because it succeeds. Despite taking such predictable ways to achieve the feel they wanted, IT WORKS. The music sounds authentic, not forced, nor trying to sound extreme. Instead, the songs are focused on being memorable and accessible rather than brutal, taking a greater deal of goth influences (besides the keyboards) like the baritone clean singing, and the midpaced, somewhat rockish rhythms. Those features are present in all of the songs (Except for the outro 'Il Vampiro'). And they all have extremely big hooks. The atmosphere is achieved succesfully thanks to them, and they pretty much make the album.

In fact, there are not many blastbeats or fast black metal parts to begin with, they're present in only two songs, namely the opener and Bloodlust, the extreme metal influences are more present in the form of high-pitched harsh vocals, a few tremolo-picked riffs here and there, (for most of the album, the guitar is a backing instrument to the keyboards, though), and some double-bass drumming. The female vocals are not the annoying operatic, soprano bullshit which is even more typical in the genre than the symphonic influences, and they are present mostly on the choirs, as background vocals.

This is not an album for everyone (as I warned at the beginning of this review), and it's definitely not to be taken too seriously. Or else you will cringe during the sickeningly catchy choruses of 'La Danse Macabre du Vampire' or the entire duration of songs like 'Queen of the Damned' or the title track. If you can get past through that, you will find lots of fun in here.