April 2003 Archives

Opeth: Damnation

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Opeth: DamnationCD, Music for Nations 2003

Track list: Windowpane - In My Time of Need - Death Whispered a Lullaby - Closure - Hope Leaves - To Rid the Disease - Ending Credits - Weakness

This sibling to Deliverance displays the more sensitive side of Opeth's song writing. You've heard this on other Opeth albums, but this time there's nothing else but the soft acoustic interludes. The songs, a bit shorter than your usual Opeth pieces, flow nicely, in a very beautiful way. Damnation is not the best choice if you want to get familiar with Opeth, but in the other hand, many people who wouldn't like Opeth's other albums, will like Damnation. ****

Chinchilla: Madtropolis

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Chinchilla: MadtropolisCD, Metal Blade 2003

Track list: The Arise of Madtropolis (intro) - Our Destiny - A Dance with the Devil - When the Sand Darkens the Sun - Entire World - Satellite - Heavy Metal - Headless Fools - Turn Around the Magic Table - Money Rules Everything - Battle of the World - Madtropolis - The Fall of Madtropolis (outro)

I used to like Helloween when I was younger and Chinchilla definitely brings back some nice memories. I don't really like power metal that much, but this album was somehow more interesting than most other albums in it's genre are. One reason for that is the way how the vocalist of Chinchilla sounds like Bruce Dickinson and thus the band sounds a bit like Iron Maiden every now and then. There are worse tracks ("Satellite" is something quite horrible) and better tracks ("Heavy Metal" is a fine metal anthem), so the final verdict is good three stars. ***

Moonsorrow: KivenkantajaCD, Spikefarm 2003

Track list: Raunioilla - Unohduksen lapsi - Jumalten kaupunki incl. Tuhatvuotinen perintö - Kivenkantaja - Tuulen tytär incl. Soturin tie - Matkan lopussa

My favourite vikings are back with a new album. Kivenkantaja is again an epic work of art, telling tales from the past. This time the tone is perhaps a bit less rowdy as on their previous album. Thus, the results are less captivating, but perhaps more epic and in a way more sacral. I'm especially fond of the elegant traditional song sung by a beautiful female voice in the end of the album. ****

HIM: Love Metal

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HIM: Love MetalCD, BMG Finland 2003

Track list: Buried Alive by Love - The Funeral of Hearts - Beyond Redemption - Sweet Pandemonium - Soul on Fire - The Sacrament - This Fortress of Tears - Circle of Fear - Endless Dark - The Path

I liked HIM a lot when their first album came out. I then lost my interest for the next two, but I'm back again. The reason is very much the video of "Buried Alive by Love": the song is perhaps the best HIM has ever made. Almost the whole album is that good, too. After weaker times, HIM rocks again nice and heavy (thanks to producer Hiili Hiilesmaa), that's very nice to hear. "Buried Alive by Love" is the best track, but I'd also check out "Beyond Redemption" and "Sweet Pandemonium". What HIM has made here is pretty much the 101 of Love Metal: this is how to do it. ****

Battlelore: Sword's Song

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Battlelore: Sword's SongCD, Napalm Records 2003

Track list: Sons of Riddermark - Sword's Song - The Mark of the Bear - Buccaneer's Inn - Attack of the Orcs - Dragonslayer - Khazad-Dûm pt 2 - Horns of Gondor - The War of Wrath - Forked Height - Starlight Kingdom - The Curse of the Kings

As you can guess from the song titles, Battlelore is heavily influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien's works. Their songs tell the tales from Lord of the Rings, which is not the most unique theme, really. However, Battlelore does it fairly well. Their heavy metal has some nice "medieval" flavour from synths and the cooperation of two vocalists, male and female, creates some nice variation. Check "Forked Height", which is perhaps the best song on the album. Still, it lacks emotion: "Attack of the Orcs" doesn't sound quite fierce, really. ***

Ganglion: The Stripped

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Ganglion: The StrippedCD, Fullsteam Records 2003

Track list: Culmination - Boundary Lines - Bedlam Fever - Stripped

For once a record I don't actually like. The music isn't bad, or at least too bad, but the vocalist really doesn't do it for me, I don't like that kind of screaming. It must be black metal shrieks or death metal growl or clean vocals. This one isn't. Also, the songs are a bit unorganised, feels like they really don't know which way to go. "Bedlam Fever" is a highlight and sort of interesting, but the rest of it I don't like. **

Godsplague: The Shovel

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Godsplague: The ShovelCD, Strider Records 2003

Track list: L.O.P.R.E. - My Nature - Unleash Hell - Doomsday Sun- Super Satan

Godsplague cites Pantera, Entombed and Black Sabbath as major influences and you can hear that - perhaps too much, even. Downtuned guitar riffs and an excellent growler vocalist make Godsplague stand out a bit, but the songs could use a dose of imagination, really. "My Nature" is the highlight of this MCD, check it out if you're looking for groovy, heavy rock. Definitely promising. ***

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