By: Callum (CJ) Lavender
Label: Napalm Records
Available: 27th June 2014
Remember in my last review when I said there was experimenting done right and then there was experimenting done plain wrong? Well I’m happy to report that I have found an album where experimenting is done right… for the most part. There’s plenty here to get into, plenty to discuss and plenty of improvements that could be made if the band wish. So let’s get discussing.
The songs I enjoyed the most and recommend are: ‘En blixt från klar himmel’, ‘Lågornas rov’ and ‘Rymdens brinnande öar’.
The things that I liked about the album was mainly the Celtic hooks and the symphonic choruses/melodies, these two things are the best part of the album and there also two things that you can never go wrong with in a successful metal band. It has a few interesting experimental features in a couple of songs such as the acoustic sounds and the thunder sounds on ‘En blixt från klar himmel’. When I heard that I instantly thought of ‘Open Your Heart’ by my favorite band Crush 40 for a second. In some of the songs including ‘En blixt från klar himmel‘ the way the normal vocals is mixed with growling vocals sometimes makes the choruses of the songs sound like a battle cry, you can really feel the energy when that happens and I can really dig that.
The things that I didn’t like about the album was all of the verses that had growl vocals mixed in with gravity blasts, that for me was an instant no and just made me want to stop listening to the album entirely. Now it’s not the worst growl vocals I have ever heard, there are plenty of times where growling vocals can work. Primal examples of this are the growling vocalist in Amaranthe and the lead singer from Eluveitie. There are several times when the growling vocals do still work on this album like I mentioned with ‘En blixt från klar himmel’ but its those parts with the gravity blasts that are it’s biggest problem. Like one of my skull banger colleague said hats of to the drummer who can pull it of but it’s something in metal albums that just isn’t needed. Another thing that is not needed are the random flow changes in all of the songs, I’m sorry to say that it’s not unique and it really doesn’t show of the skills and abilities of the musicians involved.
Now here are some points where people might have mixed feelings on. All of the titles and lyrics are all in their mother tongue of Swedish, I myself don’t mind that and sometimes I find it refreshing when the songs are in their native languages instead of every song in the world being English, but it may be a turn off for others. Despite the examples I listed it was hard to pick favorite songs because all of them have the exact same good quality points but at the same time they have the exact same bad quality points. If I’m being honest there are a lot of parts that I really enjoyed but then there are also a lot of parts where I just stop paying attention.
I can’t speak about the band’s previous material but as for this album it does take more that one listen to fully appreciate what we’ve been given. But for those who might only listen to it once only there’s a good chance that you are not going to like it instantly. On the whole if they had kept the parts that I enjoyed and made the entire album like that then it could have been an epic album. As for those bad parts that I talked about they are sadly what is holding it back but fortunately it doesn’t gain it a worse rating.