December 2005 Archives

Franz Ferdinand: You Could Have It So Much BetterCD, Domino 2005

Track list: Fallen - Do You Want to - This Boy - Walk Away - Evil and a Heathen - You're the Reason I'm Leaving - Eleanor Put Your Boots on - Well That Was Easy - What You Meant - I'm Your Villain - You Could Have It So Much Better - Fade Together - Outsiders

I have grown to really like Franz Ferdinand's debut album and now that I've heard their second album, I can say I'm satisfied. It could be better - some of the songs are really great, some are just plain good - but I'm happy with it. Right now the absolute highlight of the album is Walk Away, but fortunately it doesn't stop there. The guys have done nothing new here, though; it's pretty much the same as their debut. Well, maybe more slower songs, which is nice. But why Fade Together isn't the closing track? ****

Opeth: Ghost Reveries

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Opeth: Ghost ReveriesCD, Roadrunner Records 2005

Track list: Ghost of Perdition - The Baying of the Hounds - Beneath the Mire - Atonement - Reverie/Harlequin Forest - Hours of Wealth - The Grand Conjuration - Isolation Years

Well, what can you say about the new Opeth album? Of course it's good, very good. But that is no surprise, as Opeth is a constant source of high quality. What's interesting about Ghost Reveries is how deep it has its hands in the pockets of seventies progressive rock. I almost classified this one as rock, but I suppose the death metal is still there enough. If the trend continues, next Opeth album is progressive rock, not metal. But who cares? If it's this good, I know I won't. *****

Fall of the Leafe: Vantage

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Fall of the Leafe: VantageCD, Firebox 2005

Track list:The Fresco - Morning Works - But the Ghosts Here - In the Silence of the Sands - Off the Map, Under the Sun - Receiver - The Other Room - Ordeal - Quiet Citizen - Cold Java - Discipline and Punish - The End of Harvest

Fall of the Leafe is back. Vantage is, like Volvere, A-class rock with some metal edges. Goth rock, one might call it. Maybe. It's all pretty cool, anyhow, as their style is highly personal and far from obvious. Instead of easy chorus lines they hand out multi-layered songs which reward a patient listener. This one comes highly recommended, but don't expect you'll love it the first time you hear it. Give it time, it's worth the effort. *****

Helrunar: Frostnacht

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Helrunar: FrostnachtCD, Lupus Lounge 2005

Track list: Birke Im Moor - Frostnacht - Unten und im Norden - ...bis die Seele friert - Nachtfrost - Der Trank des Gehängten - Neun Nächte - Älter als das Kreuz - Dreifach Dorn - Mimmis brunnr

German newcomers Helrunar play Scandinavian black metal. No keyboards this time, just brutal guitars with some acoustic flavour. The German vocals are very good, very convincing and all. There's some pagan metal flavour, but not much. Frostnacht is a good start and well above average, but not quite on top of it all yet. ****

Dornenreich: Hexenwind

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Dornenreich: HexenwindCD, Prophecy Productions 2005

Track list:Von der Quelle - Der Hexe flammend' blick - Der Hexe nächtlich' ritt - Aus längst verhalltem Lied - Zu Träumen wecke sich, wer kann

Dornenreich paints a dark and sleepy portrait. The mists surround the music, which is based on monotony of a single riff for each song and flourishes from acoustic guitar. Lone voice whisper German words on fantasy and magic. it's a world of mystery and as such, an interesting piece of art. Appreciating Hexenwind takes patience and a quiet moment. It's not my world, but a beautiful world nonetheless. ****

StormCrow: No Fear of Tomorrow

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StormCrow: No Fear Of TomorrowCD, Edgerunner Music 2005

Track list: Million Miles - Last Train of Hope - The Grievous Story of Mary Grace - Down to the River - Dr.X in Wonderland - Follow the Sign - Borderline - No Fear of Tomorrow - Chasing a Shadow - The Final Battle

StormCrow is a Swedish new-comer, with their debut album. Their style is definitely old-fashioned, speed metal with Helloween tint. That's always fun, and at it's best (Dr. X in Wonderland) they rock quite well. However, most of the tracks, while technically quite good, have a clear lack of hooks - and what is this kind of melodic metal without really good hooks? Besides, most of it sounds quite familiar anyway. Still, it's a decent debut, and I definitely wouldn't mind hearing their next album. ***

Tharaphita: Primeval Force

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Tharaphita: Primeval ForceCD, Nailboard Records 2005

Track list: Sorceress - Primeval Force - Throne of Bones - 10 000 eestlast - Tongue of Flame - Passing into Anguish - Destroyer of Soul - Manalateekond

Estonian Tharaphita has published just two albums during their 10-year career. Their second album gets wider release through young and vital Nailboard Records; unfortunately the band drops singing in Estonian in favour of English. That's a pity. Tharaphita's pagan heavy metal sound pretty good to me - I like the vocals and it sounds technically good. However, the song material just doesn't click. There are few better tracks, but the rest is just mediocre. Nice try, though. **

Nebular Mystic: Necrotic

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Nebular Mystic: NecroticCD, Karmageddon Media 2005

Track list: Intro - Legions - Serpent - Suspended in Chains - Necrotic - Kingdom of Death - Seeds of Suffering - Children of Black Hearts - Forradt

Nebular Mystic scored a recording deal with their fifth demo. Karmageddon Media decided to publish the demo as it was. No wonder, as it sounds totally ready. Necrotic is certainly not demo-quality. The tracks are a bit similar and there's more Satyricon and other influences here than necessary, but I don't really care. It might be the same old same old, but it's all done really well and the music sounds really, really good (it took me a while to get used to the sharp, high guitar sound, but it was worth it). Not best of the best, but very good, nonetheless. ****

Solgrav: Auringon hauta

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Solgrav: Auringon hautaCD, Nocturnal Woodlands Productions 2005

Track list: Synnyn liekki - Maa aamunsa kajossa - Noitakansa - Hetki ennen - Auringon hauta - Hourejumala - Lopun alku - Kuolleen Maan lapsia - Kuun varjossa kuollut Maa

Finnish folk-inspired pagan black metal, sounds original... Solgrav does a pretty good job, actually - they have enough spirit and even sense of humour, and that's what folk metal often needs in my opinion. However, Auringon hauta falls short on the production, as the album sounds like a demo: guitars and drums are too weak. Even if the band calls their music forest metal, it doesn't have to sound like it was recorded in a forest. **

Mörk Gryning: Mörk Gryning

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Mörk Gryning: Mörk GryningCD, Black Lodge 2005

Track list: Lazarus Rising - Ingen dyrkan - The Sun - Into Oblivion - The Aurora - Pure - All Discarded - Disguise My Parting - Neverwhere (At the Gates cover)

Swedish black metallers Mörk Gryning called it quits after the band leader Goth Gorgon didn't want to continue. However, the pressure from their fans got the band into a studio one more time. The result is here, a glorious swan song. Mörk Gryning is one of the better black metal albums recently, with killer tracks like Ingen dyrkan and The Aurora. Definitely worth checking out for anybody into black metal. *****

8th Sin: Angelseed & Demonmilk

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8th Sin: Angelseed & DemonmilkCD, Black Lodge 2005

Track list: A Sleepover at the Feeling of Death - Liars - Demons - Irreligious - Nocturnal - Templo Mayor - Angels - Humans Without Disguise - Black Widow - Angelseed & Demonmilk - The Eight Sins, Part 2

I found Sinners, Inc. a bit boring, but had some hopes for 8th Sin's second album. Indeed, it is better. Finally there are some real hooks and good songs. Irreligious borrows heavily from Manson, but kicks ass nonetheless. The vocalist IT is still far from being my favourite and the degree of originality is less than I'd expect from a really good album, but Angelseed & Demonmilk is certainly some solid industrial metal. ****

Falchion: Legacy of Heathens

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Falchion: Legacy of HeathensCD, World Chaos Productions 2005

Track list: Immortal Heroes - The Ancient Tale - Folk in the Golden Town - Broken Stone - Journey in the Woods - Swordmaster of the Dragonland - The Darkest Valleys of Mist - Burning the Gates - Black Crown

These young guys from Finland claim to play folk-inspired pagan viking metal. In practise, their music is some blend of death and black metal - at least I have a hard time hearing any folk influences here. Judging their music by what it is, I'll have to say I find it rather boring. Technically correct, yes, but not much spirit or originality in it. At it's best, it's decent, but that's not quite enough. **

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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