December 2004 Archives

Chroma Key: Graveyard Mountain Home

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Chroma Key: Graveyard Mountain HomeCD, InsideOut Music 2004

Track list: Acknowledgement - Give Up Some - Come on to Bed - Radio Repairman - Graveyard Mountain Home - He Started with the Cat - Before You Started - Miserable Sufferings - Come In, Over - Pure Laughter - Andrew Was Drowning His Stepfather - Sad Sad Movie - True and Lost - Okay?

Kevin Moore was one of the founding members of Dream Theater. Chroma Key is his solo project and Graveyard Mountain Home is a soundtrack to an old educational film Moore discovered. What this all adds up to? Postrock. There's no trace of progressive metal of Dream Theater, it's all more like Tortoise or Godspeed or whatever. It's also very soundtrackish, very visual music. The limited edition includes the movie. ****

Slumber: Fallout

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Slumber: FalloutCD, Karmageddon Media 2004

Track list: Rapture - Conflict - Where Nothing Was Left - Fallout - Distress - Dreamscape - A Wanderer's Star

Swedish Slumber was formed back in 2001 and has now come up with their debut album. Fallout is very mature, high-quality album that's directly comparable to works of Opeth and like. Slumber plays melodic, atmospheric death metal, full of gloom and melancholy. Only thing I'm seriously missing is more range on vocals: band's vocalist Siavosh Bigonah does good work, but only in death metal style. Clear vocals would've spiced this album up in a nice way. And that's the only bigger flaw I can see - Fallout is a very good album and one of the 2004 highlights. ****

vidnaObmana: Legacy

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vidnaObmana: LegacyCD, Relapse Records 2004

Track list: Canto - Bloodshift - Torment and Resolution - Sinner's Tongue - The Virtual Insomnia - Cycle of Agony - Impious Rising - Legacy

VidnaObmana's dark ambient succeeds where others often fail: Legacy is not boring. That's fairly rare. The album also oozes athmosphere, creating a very nice sonic background for the darker months of the year. I kind of wish there were more storytelling in form of spoken word monologues like the one that starts the album, but it's quite good as it is. ****

Despairation: Music for the Night

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Despairation: Music for the NightCD, My Kingdom Music 2004

Track list: Music For The Night - Drift - Phantastronaut - River Of Perdition - Underground Poetry - Madrigal - L'Avion Ivre - Asteroid YB5 - Firebird - Moondrawn Awakening - Proteus - Zeitgeist - April Mourning - Songs Of The Nightingale - Nuit En Enfer - Colourado Mindtrip - Space Sound Park - Penelope

Music for the Night is a curious album. First of all, it's way too long. 80 minutes of music is too much on a non-compilation album, period. That said, some of the songs are very interesting. Phantastronaut, Songs of the Nightingale, L'Avion Ivre and so on are quite fantastic. The vocalist has a good David Bowie -thing going on and the soft gothpop/darkwave touch is nice. Were this one shorter, it would be much better. ***

Zatokrev: Zatokrev

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Zatokrev: ZatokrevCD, Codebreaker 2004

Track list: Reveal - C Through - Alive - ...Zato Krev - Fourem

Switzerland doesn't have a huge reputation as a metal country, even though it is the home of Celtic Frost. Zatokrev tries to polish the shield a bit and succeeds fairly well. This, their debut, is actually a demo recorded in their rehearsal room. Despite the lack of any remastering or polish, the result is surprisingly good. Their flavour of metal leans on metalcore, mostly due to the aggressive and energetic screaming vocals. The result is heavy and depressive. ****

Phazm: Hate at First Seed

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Phazm: Hate at First SeedCD, Osmose Productions 2004

Track list: In Chaos - What a Wonderful Death - Resinous Balm - Forest Recipe - Devoured Tenderness - Vicious Seed - Fleshback - Loneliness - Dogs

France is home for many bad metal acts, but Phazm is surprisingly good. What makes Hate at First Seed so interesting the pure rock'n'roll attitude and sound that is mixed well with elements of black and death metal. It's hardly unique, but sounds reasonably fresh. Hate at First Seeds sets up high expectations for Phazm's next album. ***

Darkwell: Metatron

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Darkwell: MetatronCD, Napalm Records 2004

Track list: Fate Prisoner - Strange - Metatron - Crown of Thorn - The Machine - Hope Unborn - Nothingness - Far Cry - Last Glance

Goth metal with female lead vocals - that's a genre I don't fancy too much. Theatre of Tragedy did it so well on Aegis, everything else just sounds bland compared to that. So does Metatron. Vocalist Stephanie Luzie does her job well, but the songs are a bit too curly for my tastes. Too many different parts, you know. Not bad, but not outstanding in any positive way either. ***

Deinonychus: Insomnia

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Deinonychus: InsomniaCD, My Kingdom Music 2004

Track list: Nightfall guides insomnia to be an everlasting mental torture, with this being the consequence - We have uncovered a question and now we must unearth the answer - To diagnose the fortunes of paranoia consuming consciousness and sanity - Long I feared that my sins would return to visit me, and the cost is more than I can bear - Reasons to open your eyelids and awake the apocalypse Iris is telling you

This album has the longest song titles I've seen in a long time. Dutch Marco Kehren doesn't take the short way, it seems. The songs are long as well and the mood is very gloomy doomy. The album describes the suffering of an insomniac. It's painfully depressed and - I believe - needs the listener to be in a dark state of mind to be fully enjoyed. It's dark, it's sad, it's beautiful, but I still prefer Shape of Despair. ***

Pagan's Mind: Infinity Divine

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Pagan's Mind: Infinity DivineCD, Limb Music 2004

Track list: Prelude to Paganism - Caught in a Dream - Infinity Divine - Embracing Fear - Astral Projection - Angels' Serenity - Dawning of the Nemesis - King's Quest - Twilight Arise - A New Beginning - Embracing Fear 2004 - At the Graves

Infinity Divine is the reissued debut of Pagan's Mind. It's solid power/prog metal, and fairly well done at that. I especially enjoyed the vocalist Nils K. Rue. However, while the technical side works ok, I found the album - in the end - somewhat boring. However, if power metal is your thing, Pagan's Mind and Infinity Divine might just be the next big thing for you. ***

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