February 2006 Archives

Domina Noctis: Nocturnalight

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Domina Noctis: NocturnalightCD, Officina Rock 2005

Track list: Shades of Dark and Light - My Book of Shadows - Let Me Flood Your Mind - Gloom - It's On Me - Lilith (The Black Moon) - Nevermore - Venus in a Dust Whirl

I don't know what's with me and Italian goth metal bands, but there just isn't a connection. I should probably stop reviewing them. Domina Noctis is a good example: a talented female vocalist fronting a seriously boring band. There's one good track on the album, and that's the Pyogenesis cover It's On Me. Rest is simply not interesting enough. **

Kaptain Sun: Blood, Rock'n'Roll & Black AngelsCD, Metal Breed Records 2005

Track list: Starmaster - Thriller - Self Destruction - Crystallized - Blood, Rock'n'Roll & Black Angels - Evil Demon - Electric Angels - Orange Sun - Psycho Twins

Somewhere between death metal, stoner and rock lies Kaptain Sun. The album seems a bit undecided, which is rarely a good thing. At it's best it's quite good - Orange Sun, for example, is a nice Cathedral-like track - but most of it's fairly mediocre. The vocalist could be more inspiring, and perhaps they should focus on the fast rock instead of the death metal? Still, it's a decent attempt. ***

Loits: Ei Kahetse Midagi

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Loits: Ei Kahetse MidagiCD, Nailboard Records 2005

Track list: Tulisilma sünd - Sinimäed 1944 - Tõelised kuningad - Valge nägu - Hauast aupaistesse - Kolmjalg - Veri - Sinu mees, sinu vend, sinu poeg - Tõelised kuningad (early version) - Valge nägu (live)

This Estonian metal album has seen the light day years ago and has since been released several times. This CD release by Nailboard Records, digging the vaults of Estonian metal, is the latest and greatest. This one hasn't been rerecorded, but it has been digitally remastered. The result sounds good and is quite convincing. At best (Tõelised kuningad, for example), Loits performs rather impressive black metal. Most of the album, however, is ok, but nothing spectacular. ***

Salem: Strings Attached

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Salem: Strings AttachedCD, Holy Records 2005

Track list: A Moment of Silence - Anno Domini - Coming End of Reason - Dying Embers - Winter's Tear - Ha'ayara Bo'eret - Eyes to Match a Soul - Slave - Old Wounds - Hourglass - The Fading - Recall - Old Wounds (Guest Vocalists Version) - The 2nd Coming (Alternate Version)

Old Israeli metal group has joined forces with the string quartet ICSQ and a classical choir. Their collaboration is so intense that Salem's own metal sound has been pushed far back. Grunts, distorted guitars and blastbeats are there, but so are strings and choir vocals. Which is nice, as that's definitely the better part of this album. I particularly enjoyed the classical intermission Slave (reminds me of Balanescu Quartet) and the old Hebrew song Ha'ayara Bo'eret. Surprisingly pop Winter's Tear is one of the highlights as well. ***

Dark Sanctuary: Exaudi Vocem Mean - part 1

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Dark Sanctuary: Exaudi Vocem Mean - part 1CD, Wounded Love Records 2005

Track list: Ouverture - Elle et l'aube - Dein kalter Stein - Memento Mei - The Garden of Jane Delawney - Cristal - Mon errance... - A mes ennemis - Sortie du cloître - Des illusions - Je m'en irai

Modern classical music, ethereal French female vocals, darkish atmosphere - that's going to result in something that's either boring or beautiful. In this case beautiful is definitely the word. Recommended for people looking for something to set the mood. I particularly enjoy the building crescendo in Elle et l'aube (which reminds me of Godspeed You Black Emperor, for some reason). Great work, I'm waiting for part 2. ****

My Ruin: The Brutal Language

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My Ruin: The Brutal LanguageCD, Undergroove / SPD 2005

Track list: Nature Boy - Silverlake 6571 - The Devil Walks - Spilling Open - Cold Hands, Warm Heart - Metamorphosis - Summer Of Hell - Vince Vaughn - Imitation Of Christ - Touch Me I'm Sick

This is the second My Ruin album I've heard (Speak & Destroy being the first), and I hear nothing much has changed. Maybe the sound is a bit more muddy and low, but Tairrie B's wicked vocals stay as they were. That's definitely the best part in My Ruin's music. It also sounds pretty good, if you crank up the volume enough. However, I found the songwriting fairly boring. It just doesn't click. Nice, but nothing more. **

Ruins: Spun Forth as Dark NetsCD, Neurotic Records 2005

Track list: Spun Forth as Dark Nets - Cold Dark Sea - Long and Mournful Shores - Draw Near the Ice - No Trace or Rumour - The Ends of the Earth - Loops of Time -Feed the Emptiness

Some mixture of black and death metal is what these Tasmanian guys have to offer. I like the sound, but the songs don't impress me. Nothing spectacular here, I find it pretty hard to even remember what the music sounds when it's not playing. It's not bad, just somewhat boring. Still, a decent debut and perhaps their next album will be more interesting. ***

Metsatöll: Terast mis hangund me hinge 10218CD, Nailboard Records 2005

Track list: Sissejuhatus - Veresulased - Hundiraev - Terasetuli - Mõõk - Terast mis hangund me hinge - Metsaviha 1 - Metsaviha 2 - Pöhjatuulte pojad ja tütred - Oma laulu ei leia ma üles

Estonian pagan folk metallists Metsatöll return to their six-year old debut and re-record it with more resources. I haven't heard the original, but this new edition sounds just sweet. Strong attitude and good musicianship, that's a killer combination. Angry as hell, these Estonians sing in their native language and let loose the wolf's rage. Excellent stuff. ****

Naio Ssaion: Out Loud

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Naio Ssaion: Out LoudCD, Napalm Records 2005

Track list: Static - The Mirror - Teen - Miss You - Bow Link in E Minor - N.SS - Shut Up - Blah-Blah - Blind Date - Can't You Hear - At Ease - Yours Faithfully - Out of the Great Book of Fairytales

Naio Ssaion hails from Slovenia and plays rather catchy pop metal. They're already quite big in Slovenia and if I they get enough marketing power behind them, they might take over Europe. All the elements are there: catchy pop metal (kind of like Evanescense) with a strong female vocalist and a violinist to give flavour. The songs are pretty good, all they need is more drama for the vocalist, somewhat better production and few killer songs, and that's it. Well done. ***

Newbreed: If I Were the RainCD, Foreshadow 2005

Track list:...Rain - Cloudy-Coloured Window - Confusion - Grey - Blue Truths - Dancing Trees - Inside All of Us - Daylight... at Last

Newbreed is a bunch of Opeth fans from Poland. It's not an Opeth cover band, even though that's hard to believe when you hear the music. It's almost 1:1 Opeth: long, winding progressive death metal, played with skill and emotion. The death metal growling is absent, as is some of the beautiful sensitivity in Opeth's music. The apprentices aren't quite as good as their masters, but close enough. Opeth fans should check this out; others, start at Opeth. ****

IC Rex: Sielun kadotuksen sinfoniaCD, Hammer of Hate 2005

Track list: Tulikäärmeen kutsu - Luciferin miekka - Tuli kylmästä jäästä - Ikuisen tuskan hybris - Luomattoman jumalan pauloissa - Asura - Kasvotusten absoluutin kanssa

Hammer of Hate is dedicated to releasing new Finnish puritanist underground black metal. IC Rex is a perfect example. Raw black metal with satanic and occult lyrics, played with a burning passion. Instead of having distorted guitars, they have distorted everything - their sound is leaning towards noise. This is clearly extreme music for extreme people. My first reaction was dismissal, but after some time it all came to me: yes, this is perfectly evil. The album sounds absolutely cruel and violent, which is exactly what's right for this kind of music. This is definitely not for everyone, but for fans of raw underground black metal, Sielun kadotuksen sinfonia is a perfect choice. ****

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