Any doubts that gothic rock and heavy metal would someday intersect were pretty much buried when the Sisters of Mercy released Vision Thing back in ’91. Featuring ex-Crematory member Lotte on guitar and keyboards and ex-Darkseed vocalist Stefan, Germany’s Sculpture is here to amplify both sides of that unholy marriage with its eponymous debut. Grandiosely atmospheric keyboards hold up the gothic end while the metallic guitars keep the proceedings at a fist-pumping level. An effective vocalist to be sure, but Stefan often wanders a bit too close to ’90s Hettfield-ian schmaltz for these tastes. Still, Sculpture is an otherwise solid album that, thankfully, isn’t of the dubious “new metal” variety.
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