This reminds me of the first time I heard Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden. This CD flat blew me away. It transcends the arbitrary lines between heavy metal, Goth, etc. This is a masterful album of 12 tracks of metallic perfection. The guitars are scorching and razor-sharp. The bass and drums are pulverizing like a battering ram and on target like an Air Force smart bomb. The vocals, which often diminish the impact of this genre, are full, rich, and emotional.
The band is from Sweden, which is typical for good metal these days. It seems that Europe has taken on the responsibility for not only keeping this music, alive but allowing it to grow and evolve in a natural and nurturing environment. The liner notes contain the lyrics, but the vocals are easily understood without reading along. Incidentally, the banjo opening and closing for the sixth cut, “Lies,” gives me chills every time I hear it. It’s so odd and so right, it cannot be ignored.
This is an excellent CD, well worth your time and money. Nuclear Blast America, P.O. Box 15877, Tampa, 33684-0877; http://www.nuclearblast-usa.com