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Rockin' Metal Tears For Nostalgic Years - 73%

Skarnek, December 21st, 2012

Well, well. This one is definitely "goth-metal", if an album cover/logo-font ever hinted at style before. So, upon pushing play and listening for a few moments, you will realize that it's a book that one can judge by it's cover. Also, they are from Finland. This regional fact does help solidify the notion that, once again, pre-judgements of what you're in for don't have to be dismissed. It's exactly the type of mid-tempo to upbeat (with the obligatory slow moments here and there, for good measure) goth rockin' metal one would expect. Does that mean that "Epilogue" is typical? Well...yes and no. There's a few things that keep it from falling into the modern Charon, Poisonblack, or even HIM well of romantic/sad metal.

For those who aren't familiar with said Finnish "goth-metal", let's just say that it's like doom, yet less slothy. While this style is very representative of honest-to-goodness metal, hard rock and even bouncy vibes adorn the mood of most of these Scandinavian mope-metallers. There's always solid rhythms, leads that almost vocalize the songs on their own, and layered keys. It's something I'd dare to call fun, that is- if you're a dark sort.

This is your beautifully keyboard-iced hard rock cake, yet the candles are a different color. While most Finns draw influence from The Cult and The Cure to round out their crunchy metal riffing; To/Die/For tend to lean in the direction of Tears For Fears and The Human League. And while I do not despise this form of melancholic rock, doing so does tend to shrink a band's balls just that much more. And now for the vocals...

I happen to like them. However, I will say that the vocalist's ways took quite a bit of getting used to before I could even stomach them. I mentioned Tears For Fears. Imagine that band's vocal tones, add a desire to sound much more down in the dumps than even that sappy group of 80s sensitive men, and top them off with some very real fragility. Being truly bummed does tend to make one's voice a bit warbly, sobby, slow... So, apparently this Jape guy is being authentic, as he sounds like all those things. The reason I dig 'em is purely out of the appreciation that it's something unorthodox on a very typical Finnish goth-metal album. They add a bit of humanity and imperfection that works for me, but it will not work for everybody. At times the man goes for a bit more of an aggressive tone, basically just stretching the sob out a bit further and raspier, and while it's awkward; it is a little unique as well.

Lyrically, we get treated to well done (but also typical), rhyming poetry about loss, loneliness, and a plethora of samey subjects. This does happen to be a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" area of tradition that doesn't suffer from any attempted new identity. This is largely due to the main factor here- being sad sucks, but hearing people rock about it doesn't.