Aenima - Never Fragile

Source: Kogaionon
Rating: 0.80/1

AENIMA(POR)-"Never Fragile" MCD'02
(29. 18 min, 6 tracks)

This might be a surprise for Gothic Rock fans! Although the band has nothing uncommon to present, the sound is interesting and digestible... pleasing and professional! Taking as guiding marks bands like THE GATHERING or THE 3RD AND THE MORTAL, AENIMA's music insists on Carmen's voice while the instruments offer to the listener an incredibly comfortable atmosphere. Well, if usually Gothic Rock elements are pretty widespread to almost every band of today, the Ethereal side seems to be much developed in Portuguese's sound, which leads to a more or less distinct reverberation yet still pretty disturbing and confusing for me. I'd say that the Rock shade splices at the limit with the Ethereal one... in other words, the extroverted message seems to join successfully the exploring significance but I tell you... here from harmony is just a far away aim...Any way, this mini-album deserves all the attention and perhaps the final stand is to be settled when a full album is released.

My Dying Bride - Voice Of The Wretched

Source: Kogaionon
Rating: 0.90/1

MY DYING BRIDE(UK)-"Voice Of The Wretched" CD'02
(74. 53 min, 10 tracks)

What about this? The eternal distasteful manner labels use to make some more bucks upon fans' credibility! After I said such to myself, rather disinterested than curious, I played the CD. Surprise! I found a high quality sound, modicum applauses and an incredible atmosphere! MY DYING BRIDE leads us through some of the most impressing moments of their history, from "Symphonaire Infernus..." or "Turn Loose The Swans" to "A Cruel Taste of Winter". Of course, there are as well jewelleries such as "The Cry Of Mankind" or "The Snow In My Hand", an ultra atmospheric realm with a strong impact to the public. What can I say? As a declared fan of this band, I cannot help myself in appreciating this "Best Of" in a live version! I would truthfully be enchanted to see/hear them live but since technically speaking this is impossible, I can only close my eyes and pump up the volume of this very CD. This is an irreproachable recording while the execution is slightly similar with the one featured on their albums (if it wasn't for the keyboard, which is more intense)... a real surprise for me, although I haven't listened to anything the gig was in spring 2001, in a club in Holland.

Sirenia - At Sixes And Sevens

Source: Kogaionon
Rating: 0.92/1

SIRENIA (NOR)-"At Sixes And Sevens" CD'02
(54. 00 min, 9 tracks)

I sometimes find myself in quite an ambiguous situation, dilemma, if you like better this term, regarding my musical preferences when listening is the issue... Black Metal? Gothic? Doom? Or maybe Ambient? If it was to reduce the area to Gothic Black Metal I could choose anytime for TRISTANIA, THE SINS OF THY BELOVED, the old-THEATRE OF TRAGEDY...yet the last TRISTANIA's material left the Black dimension and reached a romantic level...towards Rock....while TSOTB is just a pale copy of the up-mentioned band...TOT became cheap even if its old sound is still comes to a certain saturation...
Well, well, under such view, SIRENIA is coming in forth with a Black Gothic in TRISTANIA's first album-"Widow's Weed" manner. And I find it natural as long as this band's leader is no one else but Morten Veland, TRISTANIA's ex-mentor; and to be more correct he is the one who conceived its first albums-so well seen on Metal scene. After the well known break-up Morten had with Vibeke Stene& Co, he decided not to leave the melodic Metal scene bringing up a debut full of Gothic-Atmospheric which is based, of course, on the super-usual contrast (melodic-aggressive), a powerful antagonistic male voice in Black/Death manner, as well as a strong baritone clear one (Jan Kenneth/ELUSIVE), a fragile but predominant female voice (although a little too timid in comparison with what is to be heard in TRISTANIA), abundant synth, diverse choirs, intelligent effects, extremely fast and entertaining guitars while Pete Johansen's violin (THE SCARR) successfully intervenes in the entire 9 tracks! Everything sounds sharp and is excellently envisioned and performed...a well smartened up album which certainly shall strike the extreme melodious side of Metal! As far as the news is regarded, SIRENIA has a "great" minus since the sound is pretty common to Gothic bands from Stavanger, not preserving even a shade of innovation or originality. It is, if you prefer, a kind of continuation of less praised "Beyond The Veil", but with some inspiration of "World Of Glass". All in all: a particular album, pleasant to the ear in headphones as well as on the stage..., pretty voluble and full of dynamism and skilfulness!

Eternal Tears of Sorrow - A virgin And A Whore

Source: Kogaionon
Rating: 0.73/1

ETERNAL TEARS OF SORROW (FIN)-"A virgin And A Whore" CD'01
(43. 09 min, 9 tracks)

Appetizing name for an album... while Niklas Sundin's booklet design reminds of me of "La Masquerade Infernal"-one of the best albums ever existed! The five Finn's music carries on the line of the antecedent album, "Chaotic Beauty", which means melodiousness, intense keyboard, Black voices and progressive passages. I am not quite mad about such sound since the commercial line is more than straight visible and the rhythm just kills the Dark message of the album. Otherwise, I guess it is an excellent Melodic Black Gothic Metal album yet performed with less inspiration than what we could have listened two years ago.

My Dying Bride - The Dreadful Hours

Source: Kogaionon
Rating: 0.93/1

MY DYING BRIDE (UK)-"The Dreadful Hours" CD'01
(70. 49 min, 8 tracks)

A good band and an album at the same level incite me to have more detailed and critical comments. To my disappointment I daily read and find reviews that refuse to reflect the reality for the readers, just the case of this very album. When saying MY DYING BRIDE something must vibrate inside one's soul and this should be a real fact since this band is a vivid legend featuring on Dark Metal scene! All technical details came out directly from Aaron, some time ago, inside issue no. 7 of "Kogaionon"; therefore I see no sense for other comments regarding this chapter. It is just that the sound that reminds me of BAL SAGOTH again, which is once again natural because we speak about the same person namely John Maudlin. Of course, in studio, Yasmin Ahmed was present this time too and I should write down that her keyboard's tunes, especially on the track "A Cruel Taste Of Winter", have nothing in common with the band she usually plays in-EBONYLAKE! In direct comparison with the English' first albums, the new compositions are not capable to bring new aspects, on contrary, are even paler as far as inspiration is implied...yet with one single remark: much better performed.
On the other hand, if we take in account that MDB focused, almost four years ago, on an embarrassing experimental Gothic sound (Pop!!!), well, then, "The Dreadful Hours" must definitely regarded as a masterpiece. The straight reality is that the seven tracks follow the same line "The Light at the End of the World" started but much more elaborated and arranged whereas Aaron's voice gives birth to an unimaginable Epic Dark Metal atmosphere! "Le Figlie Della Tempesta" is no doubts, a track to be distinguished from the very first tunes so that guitars, drums, keyboard, Aaron voice's inflexions... just everything sounds magnificent! At the end of the material, a re-edition of "The Return of the Beautiful" simply makes the proof of these instrumentalists' skillfulness and maturity! I can even affirm that Calvin once used to do with his guitar is harmoniously and professionally replaced by Hamish. Yet, if coming to old good times, I need to confess I still miss Martin's violin!!! Above all, we should be aware of so many changes in line up that happened during these 12 years of its existence... and the most important thing is that the band continues to play and, moreover, the new album's sound has the gift to shadow everything that was released last year in Gothic Death Metal field! And this is not all, the CD owns an exceptional digi-pack! Do I sense a shadow of doubt? Well, if so, it certainly means that you understood nothing and it would be better for you to retire now!!!

Elysium - Dreamscapes

Source: Kogaionon
Rating: 0.78/1

ELYSIUM (AUS)-"Dreamscapes" CD'01
(53. 22 min, 7 tracks)

Rumors came to me regarding Judy Chiara's presence on this album and that was why I longed for listening to this debut! This album is not bad at all, although the old MY DYING BRIDE style does not interest anymore. The seven Epic Doom Death Metal tracks reveal an atmospheric slow sound with contrasting voices, abundant keyboard and Doom guitars. Here and there, Judy's voice makes its appearance but unfortunately dominated by Jamie Marsh's one, which is in Aaron type and so characteristic to Depressive Death Doom Metal. The tracks are pretty long and because of that the audition becomes even more enjoyable, yet I must say ELYSIUM brings nothing new. Both concept and interpretation of these sequences are great though the only ones who might get interested in this album are those who still listen to earlier ANATHEMA, MY DYING BRIDE or UNHOLY.

Tristania - World Of Glass

Source: Kogaionon
Rating: 0.95/1

TRISTANIA (NOR)-"World Of Glass" CD'01
(55. 43 min, 9 tracks)

What can I say about a band that crossed over the average line that delimitates other analogous bands? The new album is really fantastic! In deed, it is much too commercial, I would say with too many Rock flashes but would it matter?! Of course not, since everything sounds great being well balanced dominating and strongly attractive. In other words, TRISTANIA goes for the same complementary line, the female voice (Vibeke Stene) often communicates with the antagonistic one (Ronny Thorsen/TRAIL OF TEARS), as well as with the clear male ones (Osten Bergoy si Jan Barkved), guitars perform divergent riffs, from Rock and Gothic to Black and Death Metal. Einar's synth reminds of Industrial hues, the choral arrangements feature classical elements, and Pete Johansen's violin (THE SCARR) transmits the listener a nostalgic mood while Kenneth Olson's battery is simple but potent... all in all it is a TRISTANIAN sound! It seems like the missing of the vocal Morten Veland did practically not affect this album. If "Beyond The Veil" was too soft or Black Metal, well, "World Of Glass" is absolutely different since the romantic aura can provide the listener such certain mood of peace and comfort which is rarely met in Gothic Metal! If " Widow's Weeds" can be judged as the best Gothic Black Metal album of the last five years, the new one exceeds by far the Gothic borders, as diversity and sum of all influences make almost impossible any characterization of such new style! Perhaps it is about Romantic Metal?! If I had to add one more single would be that when playing live, TRISTANIA are real maestros and thus only envy and limitation of some might underline negative aspects of this album!

Beto Vasquez - Infinity

Source: Kogaionon
Rating: 0.75/1

BETO VASQUEZ (ARG)-"Infinity" CD'02
(50. 12 min, 11 tracks)

If being more precise, I must say that Beto Vasquez comes from Nepal and their popularity is granted by Nems Enterprises' promotion. The album's lay-out is in deed exquisite and so are the guest-artists so that it makes a strong impression from a first glance: Candice Night (BLACKMORE'S NIGHT), Tarja Turunen (NIGHTWISH), Sabine Edelsbacher (EDENBRIDGE), three incredible voices whose live appreciation enjoys quite a great success. Yet I must say this is only the beginning of a surprise since on the other side we meet instrumentalists of great value as well and here they are: Jorg Michael (STRATOVARIUS) and Fabio Liane (RHAPSODY). I assume you have already made an idea regarding the band's direction as oscillating between Power, Heavy and Progressive Metal, with a powerful atmospheric note as well as with South American traditional tendencies so that Beto Vasquez manages to put together a vivid proof of skillfulness and inspiration. It is a digestible album with a commercial harmonious and rhythmical sound, an intense keyboard and Metal riffs perhaps in the view of a Mike Oldfield Heavy version. Although it is not my favorite style, the recording clarity and craftsmanship of these trained musicians determine me to bow my respects towards them! In deed it is a true pleasure to listen to such edible sound yet only if not for a long time. The positive specter rather characterized by extremely vivid colors is not quite on my taste although the saxophone's sound during "Through Times Part III" truthfully makes my heart weep! I might not be exactly the right person to appreciate properly the actual value of this album but I know for sure it is hard to found a musical project when are involved artists from Nepal, Austria, England, Finland or Italy.

Nightwish - Over the Hills and Far Away

Source: Kogaionon
Rating: 0.68/1

NIGHTWISH (FIN)-"Over The Hills and Far Away" CD'01
(51. 14 min, 10 tracks)

I actually cannot find too many things to say about this band as long as their new CD presents solely three fresh tracks of which the first (a Gary Moore cover version) is in fact a traditional one in Finland and in deed there is also a flourishing (and quite juicy-in live performance) ballad entitled "Away". Otherwise, just live tracks and nothing else. This is another product released exclusively for money! When it is about DVD, I assume it worth spending money, well, in this CD case, I am not so sure! Perhaps Tarja's voice might change dramatically my opinion...

Chalice - An Illusion to the Temporary Real

Source: Kogaionon
Rating: 0.82/1

CHALICE (AUS)-"An Illusion to the Temporary Real" CD'01
(45. 10 min, 7 tracks)

I was reading, one of these days, on the band's site Guestbook, that there were some opinions criticizing Shiralee's feminine voice coming from someone who took canto lessons. It seems like polemic is in ascendance over there so, if you desire having fun on such issue try and soon Now, back to music, CHALICE comes in forth with their second album by all means not original yet tremendously attractive. I haven't listened to the first album so I am not in the position of comparing, which leaves me no choice, but to focus on this very album's characteristics: a mixture of Gothic Metal with Doom, very tranquil Atmospheric, a voice palely reminding me of THE 3RD AND THE MORTAL (Shiralee), a peaceful flute apt to create a certain mood of meditation, guitars' Rock, Gothic and Metal tunes, melancholic passages and romantic rhythms. The sound misses a confident strength, as the only limelight might be the flute closely followed by the female voice. If regarding it as a unitary whole, the album has nothing new to show, nothing in particular since everything is a replica of European Gothic Metal sound in the manner of Stavanger/Norway's bands yet much more serene featuring also a few psychedelic tints. I found pretty curious that the seven tracks managed somehow to arouse my interest and even determined me to listen to the album for several times consecutively. It is noticeable the fact we can also enjoy pleasant Gothic Metal from the kangaroos' continent!

Sonata Arctica - Silence

Source: Kogaionon
Rating: 0.67/1

(61. 54 min, 13 tracks)

I pleasantly remember "Eliptica" powerfully stroke STRATOVARIUS fans and all in sympathy with Power Metal. The Finnish' debut was regarded with interest and sensitivity yet also with envy as the one's hope was for the second album to be a bluff or, probably for the best, not to fascinate. Nevertheless, on contrary, SONATA ARCTICA has decided to insist on Epic, Progressive and Heavy Metal and thus, the album can be considered one of the most representatives of its kind. Bombastic keyboards, rhythmical guitars, technical battery, shocking choirs, acoustic guitar tunes, aggressive voice together with a normal melodic one, grand piano and even a female voice...all in all everything melts not at all originally but harmoniously into a crystal recording and a super-natural design of the booklet. DREAM THEATER fans will find as well great pleasure and satisfaction into this sound and, as a recommendation for the album's best track you should try "The Power One". Although I am not mad about such style I must admit it gained my attention for two consecutive auditions yet nothing else. Why so? Perhaps because of the bright glowing appearance of the sound or too much positive energy and optimism and this might become, at a certain point, a major concern.

Theatres des Vampires - Bloody Lunatic Asylum

Source: Kogaionon
Rating: 0.81/1

THEATRES DES VAMPIRES (ITA)-"Bloody Lunatic Asylum" CD'01
(61. 58 min, 11 tracks)

Almost incredible the sound of this project! I have listened to "Nosferatu, eine Simphonie des Grauens" promo tape a few years ago but it did not even cross my mind Lord Vampyr would be capable of offering such album for the present times! What trophies can TDV be proud of before the signing with PHR? There are only two materials: "Vampyrisme, necrophilia, necrosadisme, necrophagie" (1995) and "The Vampire Chronicles" (1999). If they did not sustain some gigs in England (Myth si Vampiria III) most certainly, the sixth musicians would not have managed to penetrate the modest and overfilled UG! I should also mention that since Lord Vampyr knew Gian Pyres (CRADLE OF FILTH) it was quite a big help for TDV to contact Tim Fraser, CHRISTIAN DEATH' manager, and thus PHR label. During the live performance, the Britain were surprised indeed of such "horifica" atmosphere this Italian band could create while being supported in ideas by David Bracci, the well known "effect maker" for horror artist Dario Argento!
Vampirical obsessions combined with themes such sex blood or horror imposes TDV as a respectable band with an exquisite background if taking in account that Lord Vampyr has studied for some years this particular field! Their sound is complex, various but I could not say as following any particular style although the most appropriate would be Black, Gothic, Dark, Epic and Atmospheric Metal shades. The male voice has certain inflexions that remind me of Dani/CRADLE OF FILTH while the female ones, rather gathered together as small choirs, perfectly harmonizes with the rest of the atmosphere, which I must say is built up by modest players without noticeable skills. The sampler creates a magic aura while the other accessories do nothing but to paint an occult, horror, violent less yet captivating and pleasing to the ear picture. From another point of view, the multitudes of ideas and trends slightly get boring for the listener, as TDV is a band that can only be appreciated at its true value when playing live.

Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio - Apocalips

Source: Kogaionon

Rating: 1/1


Tomas Pettersson absolutely left me without words, air and hope! This is one of the finest and most elegant albums within the ones released in the past 15 years! It is inconceivable for this Dark Neo-Folk jewel to lack from the personal collection of any underground admirer! The contrasts concept is now performed more inspired than ever before, and it creates an unimaginable atmosphere throughout the specific ORE puzzle of dichotomies alike sex-war, dark-light or joy-sadness! The decadent beauty, full of darken shaped eroticism, enlivens 13 distinct pieces, based on Tomas's normal, yet deep, voice that rather recites than sings, using an original intonation accompanied by a calm instrumentation, veiled in a dangerous melancholia and beauty. The tribal shadows, Industrial features, seem paler than ever, enhancing the staccato rhythms, very melodious ones, and also rising various choirs, sinister effects, acoustic guitars, dreamy piano, multiple percussions and redundant echoes. ORE is a band of genius, and the trinity might turn complete now if we add the other brothers of suffering into fetishism and not solely that, respectively SPIRITUAL FRONT or the less known TRIARII. The most beautiful track, that among others leads my thoughts towards Simone Salvatori's (SF) last album, is by far "Who Stole The Sun From Its Place In My Heart" piece, whose lyrics should be learned by heart and afterwards sang/recited alongside Tomas on every single audition... Take my word for it, once you listen to this album, you won't be able to get away from it! I strongly recommend you to run through all the lyrics carefully, as Tomas's realm is a damn fascinating one, apocalyptic and perverse, gravitating around its key elements: blood, fire and sperm! Sinister, decadent, perverse, yet superb!

My Dying Bride - A Line Of Deathless Kings

Source: Kogaionon

Rating: 0.86/1

MY DYING BRIDE (UK) - "A Line Of Deathless Kings" CD'06 (PEACEVILLE)

These British conservatives! True respect for these titans! A great band, a beautiful album: mournful, cold, dark, grey coloured, sad and depressive, yet melodic and very slow! Aaron Stainthorpe's voice is more natural and clearer than ever, and, for the first time in their history the backing vocals are also used; moreover, Andrew Craighan and Hamish Glencross's guitars stand out for a classic scent of authentic Doom Metal, while the intricate and superposed battery frames (John Bennett/THE PROPHECY) share a charm of their own; the keyboard (Sarah Stanton) is more subdued, but it remains in perfect harmony with the rest of the instruments, meanwhile the bass (Ade Jackson) generates the same groovy tendencies on the stage that make you tremble involuntarily... I do not intend to compare this very album with the previous ones, as I would not find any significant differences, on the contrary, I might turn less critical with the former albums (except the experimental one), because the ninth seems forceless and lacked in dynamism. At least, after listening to it continuously for several times, you get indulgent when you want to find interesting fragments, as are the ones from "L'amour Detruit"... But let's not analyze this album solely from the musical point of view, because I could only rate it modestly. As I dare to declare myself a lifetime MDB listener, I suggest to use another framing, a less conventional one, when referring to this album: art! It is the utter poetic album in MDB's history, outlining an incontestable apogee of Aaron's voice, veiling a mournful aura of an indefinable realm, of something that isn't palpable! A beautiful atmosphere, semi obscure, with romantic, even melancholic glimpses, yet just vain hope for it! I could further mention that "Deeper Down" doesn't seem to be the most inspired track for promoting the album, but its video is brightly done by Charlie Granberg, the one that also did KATATONIA's "My Twin" and "Deliberation" videos. The video named above is released all together with the album on which you can also find another exclusive new track, "The Child Of Eternity", extremely beautiful, and also the live version for "A Kiss To Remember", recorded in 2003, in Belgium. Is there any point for me to remind you that the sound is crystal clear thanks to Mags, the one considered a true master at Academy Studio? When you talk about MY DYING BRIDE there is no use into trying to find a comparison with something from everyday's dimension... It's hard to escape the daily normality, but if you come to the point of doing that through MDB, the subsequent risk is the helplessness to stop it... or if you can do that, it would affect the close ones in a miserable way... because for you yourself it would be perfect: the end! From another point of view, the album is rather barren, as I am still yearning for Martin's violin to tickle my ear! Anyway, it is one of the slowest albums in history, harbouring an absolutely fantastic Gothic Doom fragment on "Loves Intolerable Pain" piece, as all the instruments can be perfectly heard, including a combination of masculine vocals and that's all it is. I'm afraid the fans won't consider this album as a masterpiece (and it isn't one indeed) because, when listening to it superficially, the sound is similar to the ones on the previous albums. In my opinion, the latest album has a totally distinct structure, opening different stylistic horizons in case MDB doesn't cease to exist. MDB is the same one as form, but its substance continues to transform itself! And, as transformation does not necessarily imply maturity, it is only natural that weak features occur. I end my review mentioning that the album's title is a very inspired one (a bit high-flown though), and the only element that reaches perfection is Aaron's unique voice!

Elis - Griefshire

Source: Kogaionon

Rating: 0.80/1

ELIS (SWI/LIE) - "Griefshire" CD'06 (NAPALM)

Pity for the sudden death of this ambitious young girl, the one that used to play the vocal parts on ERBEN DES SCHOPFUNG project! Sabine Dunser (RIP) created the very delight of this sound labeled as Gothic Metal! I find it hard to say if ELIS is an authentic Gothic Metal band or not, but I can state for sure that we are dealing with several gathered influences, starting with Classical or Atmospheric, and further emphasizing Heavy, Doom Death or Power Metal! Sabine's voice reminds me of Liv Kristine (the two of them had a collaboration in the past), while the choral effects fill the sound furrowed by energetic guitars and fully melodious and bombastic keyboard! ELIS's sound is an easy one to trace, as Sabine's crystalline voice is truly unique, even though Metal hasn't valued it at its most! This is by far the best release of the band and I trust it will enjoy full consideration now, yet my guess is that ELIS ceased its existence along with Sabine's. Even though the rest of the band still performs under ELIS formula, searching for a new vocalist, I think ELIS myth ought to place its anchor in the past. I haven't been a fan of this band, yet I have never been bothered by listening to it, even though the Dark dimension never touched this very sound!

Serenity - Fallen Sanctuary

Source: Kogaionon
Rating: 0.80/1

SERENITY (AUT) - "Fallen Sanctuary" CD'08
I admit that I am tormenting myself into carefully listening to such sonorities, hoping that, maybe, just maybe, I will find something interesting within. KAMELOT or SONATA ARCTICA are standard sort of bands for this Melodic Symphonic Metal approach, while EDENBRIDGE could be considered a band that sounds identically to SERENITY. Based on a very bombastic sound, with an abundant Progressive touch, and very pompous normal voices (including female ones), choirs even, plus prolonged riffs with Heavy Metal elements, a drum that beets rapid or staccato rhythms, and a keyboard that amplifies a less than Dark dimension, but a more extraverted one, with a very present bass; therefore, SERENITY present a stylish album, well done, sounding quite alright. Just that there is no originality within, no identity of its own. Otherwise, it is a pleasant audition, especially if it's not listened repeatedly. It is a trendy album, with no remarkable expressivity.

Paradise Lost - Gothic

Source: Kogaionon
Rating: 1/1

PARADISE LOST (UK)-"Gothic" CD 08 (special edition)
The excellent decision to re-edit this genius album is more than welcomed, especially since 20 years have passed since the band was founded, when Nick and Gregor, influenced by CELTIC FROST, MORBID ANGEL and CANDLEMASS, established this band. After the debut "Lost Paradise" that was insisting on Death Metal, with inspiration taken from J. Milton's writings, the album that marked the appearance of a new musical current, the Gothic Doom Death, followed in 1991. "Gothic" is the most nonconformist Metal album for those times, when you couldn't really say it was Death or Doom... Those were the times when two other bands were taking shape, ANATHEMA and MY DYING BRIDE. The advantage of this re-edited CD is that we have a bonus DVD containing some exclusive tracks shot live in 1991, plus the now classical tracks belonging to the first two albums. There is no doubt, something that one must keep for its private collection!

My Dying Bride - An Ode To Woe DVD

Source: Kogaionon
Rating: 0.90/1

MY DYING BRIDE (UK) - "An Ode To Woe" DVD'08
Clearly, MY DYING BRIDE became a high brand, just good for excavating great money out of it. As proof to this statement, the label that has always supported them offered a new contract for 3 albums, without considering this particular DVD. The DVD contains the recording of the concert held in April 2007 at Paradiso Hall in Amsterdam, a so-called temple for modern music, as it is designed as a church, and which hosted so far, the live performances of Nick Cave, Nirvana, Sex Pistols or The Rolling Stones. Personally, I didn't find it to be a special concert; it's just what MY DYING BRIDE can offer on stage. The DVD's advantages are that it includes the lyrics for all the tracks played in that concert, and the fact that the British made a smart mix between very old and pretty new tracks, showing throughout 13 sequences the true face of the legendary band. With the same theatricals as in the rest of his shows, Aaron has a charm of his own, yet after seeing several concerts held in distinct locations, you get the feeling that everything is repetitive on live shows, just the well known result of the classic copy - paste. I've seen them last year at Sibiu and that concert seemed better to me. Never mind. We are dealing with a collection DVD, promoted in an exceptional digi-pack that includes the CD with the same tracks, but with a more elegant sound and mixing... well, that's a material that should have a place of its own on your shelves! I hardly wait the moment when they'll release a new version, meaning one including the symbolic and caressing violin along the rest of the instruments... And my personal bet is that it will happen in the immediate future. 

HB - Frozen Inside

Source: Kogaionon
Rating: 0.84/1

HB (FIN) - "Frozen Inside" CD'08
Another NIGHTWISH clone! With a more innocent voice and less Symphonic than the legendary band (that now is an inspirational adrift), HB presents a very promising debut, with a both fragile and mighty female voice, who's inflections bring over the salt and pepper of the album. There are slow sequences too, ballads like, and also more rapid fragments, more Heavy, full of rhythm and atmosphere. The album doesn't sound bad, yet I couldn't spot any originality within it. It is just a different Epic Symphonic Metal, or Modern Metal, one that cannot displease the audience! I am sure HB sounds fine on live performances too! Still, it is only a debut, so we shouldn't discourage their intention to show us that they know how to play and to create pleasant atmosphere. But let's see when will originality come to light. I hope with the second album that will happen.

Nightwish - Dark Passion Play

Source: Medienkonverter
By: Enrico

IN GERMAN. Translation?

Gothic / Medieval / Darkwave

Der Beginn einer neuen Ära!

Das vielleicht mit Spannung erwartetste Album des Jahres steht kurz vor der Veröffentlichung und Fans und Kritiker warten gespannt, ob das erste Werk nach dem erzwungenen Ausstieg von Tarja Turunen, den hohen Erwartungen entsprechen kann. Seit einigen Monaten schwingt die Schwedin Annette Olzon im Studio das Mikro - ob sie in die übergroßen Fußstapfen Tarijas treten kann? Fragen über Fragen, die nur "Dark Passion Play" beantworten kann. Also ohne große Umschweife, rein ins Vergnügen.

"The Poet And The Pendulum" überrascht zunächst mit seiner Spielzeit: Knapp 14 Minuten! Was folgt ist ein erstes Statement in Richtung aller Skeptiker, die der Band das Aus vorankündigten. Wofür andere Bands mehrere Alben benötigen, schmettern die Jungs (und Annette) mal eben im Opener raus. Unglaublich! Hier wird jedem bewusst, wofür er gerade 15 € investiert hat. Rasante Tempowechsel, geile Gitarrenriffs, fette Chöre, ein unglaublicher Drive, verspielte, romantische Parts - alles! Dieser Song macht einfach glücklich und zeigt, dass es neben der 08/15 Chartdudelei noch richtige Musik gibt! Danke! Bei so viel Euphorie hätte ich fast vergessen, über Annettes Gesang zu philosophieren. Dieser kommt leichter und unaufdringlicher als bei ihrer Vorgängerin daher, rückt aber auf Grund des übermächtigen Songs fast in den Hintergrund. Mehr zu Tage kommt da schon beim folgenden "Bye Bye Beautiful", dass man ohne schlechtes Gewissen als kleinen Bruder von "Wish I had an Angel" sehen kann. Ein aggressives Duett von Annette und Marko, mit einem poppigen, druckvollen Refrain - funktioniert in jedem schwarz angehauchten Club!

Vor Drogen haben mich meine Eltern immer gewarnt, aber doch können sie sooo schön sein. Die erste Singleauskopplung "Amaranth" (zum Video) ist dafür ein exzellentes Beispiel. Beim ersten Hören noch kaum beachtet, windet sich dieser Song für den Hörer fast unbemerkt in die Gehirngänge und bewirkt unbewusstes Play-Drücken. Vor allem der eingängige Refrain und die verspielten Keyboard-Passagen lassen schlechter Stimmung keinen Platz. Leider können die folgenden Songs das Niveau nicht ganz halten. "Cadence Of Her Last Breath" plätschert vorbei, während "Master Passion Greed" sich zwar durch ungewöhnliche Härte und die starke Stimme von Marko auszeichnet, aber trotzdem nicht richtig zünden mag und bei den Nicht-Metal-Nightwish-Fans für Ohrenschmerzen sorgen wird. Da helfen auch die gelegentlichen Children of Bodom Trademarks nicht weiter - live möglicherweise aber ein Killer! Mit der Schmachtballade "Eva" folgt das bereits bekannte erste Lebenszeichen Annettes als Nightwish-Sängerin. Balladen haben noch nie zur Paradedisziplin von Chefdenker Tuomas Holopainen gehört, doch diese überzeugt durch seinen sehr düsteren Touch.

"Sahara" und "Whoever Brings The Night" gehören dann eher wieder in die Kategorie Durchschnitt - Bombast im Überfluss führt nicht automatisch zu guten Songs. Wie es besser klappt, zeigt uns "For The Heart I Once Had" - besticht dieser Song durch eine perfekte Kombination von Härte und Gefühl. Annette singt wie ein unschuldiger Engel, schafft es aber spielend, sich bei dem bombastischen Refrain gegen gefühlte 300 Instrumente durchsetzen zu können. Doch das kostet Kraft, so dass sie beim folgenden "The Islander" Marko den Vortritt überlässt. Nur mit Akustik-Gitarre und Bodhran begleitet, schmettert er eine astreine Lagerfeuerballade vor. Einer dieser Songs, welche sicherlich auch Nightwish-Fans Schweiß auf die Stirn treiben würde, wenn man sie nach der Band dahinter fragen würde. Tolles Stück Musik! Mal ganz ohne Gesang kommt "The Last Of The Wilds" aus - eine fette Instrumentalnummer, welcher sich irischer und finnischer Folkmusik bedient und mit knackigen Gitarren das großen Finale der CD eröffnet. Hoch die Tassen! "Seven To The Wolves" überzeugt mit druckvoller Schwermütigkeit, unterstützt von fetten Chören. Leicht vertrackt im Strophenteil, jedoch ultraeingängig im Refrain mit einem wunderschönen Zusammenspiel von Cello und Orchester im Mittelteil, welches zu heftigen Gesangsausbrüchen Anettes führt.

Zum Abschluss folgt erneut der Beweis, warum Nightwish auch nach dieser Scheibe zu den unumstrittenen Anführern der Female-Fronted-Metal-Bands gehören. Schwermütig singt sich Annette vorbei an Harfen, Geigen und Pianos um schlussendlich vor einer Wand aus Bombast und Chören zu stehen - diese eindrucksvoll zähmen kann, um in einem gigantischen Zusammenspiel aller Beteiligten (inklusiver einem Gospelchor) auf der Spitze zu thronen und sich als neue Herrscherin des Nightwish-Imperium krönen zu lassen.

Fazit: Nennt mich einen Königsmörder, aber ich bin froh über den Wechsel am Mikro dieser Ausnahmeband. Eine neue, ansteckende Leichtigkeit erfüllt dieses CD, auch wenn der Großteil der Tracks eher düster und schwer erscheint. Annette zuckersüße Stimme verbindet sich in perfekter Weise mit den sehr eingängigen Songs, ohne sie zu übertrumpfen - Da capo! Eines der Highlights des Jahres 2007!

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