Categories
Gothic Metal Metal Music

[Metal/Prog] Ghost – Opus Eponymous (10th anniversary review)

This week marked the 10th anniversary release of “Opus Eponymous” from the Swedish band Ghost, which is fronted by Tobias Forge (aka Papa Emeritus). My listening to this album was in a retrospective as I was introduced to the band through their third album “Meliora” with “Cirice” four years ago. As of today, I still consider their first album as their best album. Maybe for the musical style of it, maybe from the overall atmosphere from it.
It is personally an awesome album to listen to on a regular basis. It is a 9 tracks album that is short (34 minutes shy) but nicely crafted with almost no filler. It is a festival for the hear, with this rough guitar reminding me of the early age of progressive rock, coupled with a primitive sound of a MOOG synthesizer (with primitive not being used as a pejorative connotation here, more like in the idea of the original), giving this late-70s/early-80s feels to it.
We start with “Deus Culpa” which is an church organ, which introduce us quickly to “Con Clavi Con Dio” which has this particular trance effect on me, almost psychedelic. A very good track. “Ritual”, the third track, help us to chill out while navigating through the lyrics.
Then comes the piece of resistance. My favorite track. “Elizabeth”, the fourth track. Completely devoted to tell the tale of Erzebeth Bathory, a Hungarian princess which holds on the most cruel woman from the middle-age, rivaling with Vlad “Dracul” in terms of her lust for blood, including the infamous legend (or myth) of her youth beauty perpetuated by bathing in the blood of murdered virgins. It is fast-paced, with a very complementation of the guitars and keyboards. Listening to “Elizabeth” from the original demo tape and the finished product is showing the refined product that was already there, only perfected by professional recording in a studio. We resume the trip into the darkness with “Stand by Him” and “Satan Prayer”, also very good. The seventh track, “Death Knell”, is my second track. Again, a track already present in the demo tape that was rearranged, with these Black Sabbath bells. The eight track “Prime Mover”, is another of these tracks present in their demo tape. It has this nervous and menacing guitar tones, giving this malveolent atmosphere.
“Genesis” is the closing instrumental track of the album. A bliss of primordial MOOG synthesizer coupled with excellent proggy/psychedelic rock riffs, transitioning into that synthesizer waves resulting in this absolute epic epilogue to the album, reminding me of the early days of the 80s.
If you have to get introduced to Ghost, I would certainly recommend to do it by starting with their first album, remaining at the pinnacle of my library from this band.

Categories
Doom Metal Metal Music Uncategorized

[Metal] Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (50th Anniversary Release)

Today marks the anniversary of the freshman album by Black Sabbath, released in February 13th (a Friday none of the less) 1970. This album is an important in the history of modern music, as it is considered as the milestone album, “the mother of it-all” of the whole metal genre, and to the doom metal sub-genre in particular.
50 years and this album still keep its freshness. It is also an album that kept its roots into its era, it has this psychedelic rock vibes, as an extension of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin sound, yet also infused several key elements that will define the metal genre.
The album is about 39 minutes, and has different iterations depending of the re-issue and edition. The album I own is the North American CD version and I will make my summary out of it.
We are entering the album with the eponymous track “Black Sabbath”. Dang! Listening to it in a retrospective fashion, it has all the element of doom metal: slow pace, monotonous guitar, dark thematic. Ozzy is just awesome in this track, depicting and end of the world to it. It is dark, it is occult, but damn it is.

The second track “The Wizard”, for some reasons always makes me think of “Electric Wizard”, a flagship stoner metal band that is considered as representative of the stoner doom metal, the cousin of doom that runs on weed (it is all about weed with stoner metal). Kind of a more classical rock vibe, but an okay song for me.
The third track on the edition I own is “Wasp/Behind the Wall of Sheep/Bassically/NIB”, a quatuor of proto-metal songs, blending old tunes of their time but also experimenting some features that will define the metal genre, including the drumbeat (deviating from the R&B, and more into a synchronized and regular tempo),  heavier guitar riffs, and inclusion of melodic riffs.
The fourth track, “Wicked World”, is interestingly the one that has the closest sound of modern heavy metal in its backbone and its structure, with a very complex solo guitar played to Tommy Iommi, that will become a staple for almost every metal song to come.
The fifth track “A Bit Of Finger/Sleeping Village/Warning”  is also a good track, starting wiht an awesome guitar solo before the drums and the bass take over.
Today was also a big revelation about the mysterious figure of the original album cover. (https://loudwire.com/black-sabbath-cover-woman-black-figure/). A mysterious figure that haunted and led to the widest speculations and conspiracies. The woman in question is named Louisa Livingston. After all these years, the album is keeping its freshness.
It is so much fresh then it perfectly blends with modern cover, for instance my favorite being the live cover of it by Within Temptation, giving it this modern feel in a circular fashion, as performed in their Black X-Mas concert few years ago:

 

Categories
Melodic Death Metal Metal Music Uncategorized

[Metal/Melodic Death] Insomnium -Heart Like A Grave (90%)

Finally, the last review of my streak of overdue reviews. The last one in the list is the Finnish melodic death metal band Insomnium. I got into them late in the game through their album (and fairly controversial album within the community) “Winter’s Gate”.
What I like about the band is their ability to perfectly blend the brutality of death and powerful melodic, that give me the sense of mental escapism and serendipity of the Finland wild, green and white vast lands of wilderness.
This is an album containing 10 tracks (+2 bonus tracks, iTunes version) spinning about 70 minutes. We got introduced by “Wail of The North”, giving us this floating feeling, that melodies I have been talking but this one mostly driven by pianos and keyboards, followed by fast guitar riffs. It nicely serve as a primer for the official opening track “Valediction”. This is where the “attach your seat belt” sign should be blinking because we start brutally, only to get free flying within 30 seconds. Enjoy the video clip:

“Neverlast” brings us more to classical Insomnium stuff, but that does not a downgrading. We are still flying on the awesomeness with the band, again very good track. “Pale Morning Star”, we keep on a perfect streak with the band and this perfect blend of heavy riffs and melodic that makes your soul escape into beautiful Finnish landscapes. “And Bells They Toll” is my favorite song of the album. The quintessential track that makes in my opinion the band being the flagship of the whole Finnish Melodic Death Metal scene. “The Offering” is in contrast, tuning to heavier and faster riffs, making it more aggressive and yet enjoyable, rapidly followed by “Mute is My Sorrow” and “Twilight Trails” that in my opinion almost acts as a bridge between “Winter’s Gate” and this album.
“Heart Like A Grave” brings us more down to Earth and simply beautiful to listen, my second favorite of the album by its enriched sensory experience. Watch the video, close your eyes, focus on the auditory stimulus and enjoy this mental escapism.

“Karelia” is a melodic ballad, 100% instrumental track that closes the album magnificently.
The two bonus tracks are good. The first one, “The True Morning Star” is an instrumental acoustic guitar track that is okay but does not feel we are missing much. The second one, “Karelia 2049” is much more electronic, giving place to the keyboards. Oh boy as I love the prime electronic sounds of the early synthesizers, I like that track giving a much colder and electric sound to the homonym track.
With this album, Insomnium is showing us that they are reaching their pinnacle of their artistic talent, over 10 years in the refining and improving, giving us this perfect album that is a pleasure to listen and has been spinning almost daily in the last two months. Rarely we are given a chance to hear a nicely blended form of melodic death metal that embrace this “Fire and Ice” analogy. If I have to summarize the beauty and wilderness of the Finnish metal scene, that would be using this album I would showcase. Finland gave us one of the best symphonic metal band (Nightwish), one of the best melodic doom metal band (Swallow The Sun) and just offered us one of the best melodic death metal band in the presence of Insomnium.

Categories
Gothic Metal Metal Music Uncategorized

[Metal] Lacuna Coil – Black Anima (80%)

October was also the same month of the release of the latest album by Lacuna Coil “Black Anima”. At the helm, we have Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro as usual keeping the ship exploring and wandering over the years. It is a 14 tracks album (iTunes version, that is inclusive of three bonus tracks in the total I provided) spanning over 59 minutes of music.
We get into it with “Anima Mera”, a cryptic song that is pretty interesting and setting sort of the whole album. The second track, “Sword of Anger” is pretty okay but nothing really hooking much, as well as the third track “Reckless”. For some reason, I find this track pretty unattractive to my ears and even would sound like one of the weakest of the album. The band has a videoclip, so you can judge by yourself. The videoclip is indeed much better and is deeply inspired by Dario Argento’s “Suspiria”:

Fortunately things become interesting for me “Layers of Time”, the fourth track. Tha’ts the Lacuna Coil stuff I was looking for, that’s a song I really like that it became an earworm through these last two months. Again a videoclip to share, so enjoy the listening of that track:

The fifth track “Apocalypse”, is also a decent track and straight into the band direction. “Now and Never” reminds me a lot like “The House of Shame” of their previous album, so good stuff again from the band. “Under The Surface” is also pretty good overall. “Veneficium” is probably my second favorite track. It starts with Cristina starting a capella into a sort of chorale, following by Andreas lyrics, some of the heavy stuff that has something connecting the old fans to their old stuff, it has this wavy feeling that is so pleasant to my ears. “The End Is All I can See” is a bit strange but very fascinating to my ears. Another good track of the album.  “Save Me”, the 10th track, is pretty okay but in my opinion nothing too pretencious, something more like alternative metal. “Black Anima”, the last official track is another good one, with Cristina in my opinion being the best of her in this album, with hitting the highest notes she can.
What about the three bonus tracks? “Black Feathers”, the first of the three extra tracks, is a damn good one, I would like to have this one in the regular album in place of some weaker songs. Same for “Through The Flames”, very good one. “Black Dried Up Heart”, the last track (and the last of the bonus tracks) is also pretty decent and wished was part of the regular album tracklist.
As this album marks about 20 years of discography of the band, where does it stand? I would say still pretty well. The band went back to their heavyness a scale higher, they also embraced darkness at a higher level than their discography of their second decades. There are some good songs, and some weak songs. It is not the crush album, it takes some times to get into in and appreciate. It is overall a pretty good album and love to see the band after 20 years still being dynamic and produce some quality albums, where other bands crashed on the shores or simply let the wrenched sea become their graveyard. My only regret was missing on their North American tour that was not clearly advertised and that’s honestly disappointing. Lacuna Coil is one of these bands that performs well both in studio and live and wished I could finally see them live after this incessant game of cat and mouse.

Categories
Doom Metal Metal Music Uncategorized

[Metal/Doom] Paradise Lost – Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us (10th Anniversary)

Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary release of Paradise Lost “Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us”. It is the 12th album of the British doom metal band from Halifax, part of the Holy Trinity of doom-death genre with Anathema and My Dying Bride.
For me, this album has a special place as it was my first album from the band, it is how I got introduced to the band, by a random pick from a record store. It has the doom feelings and writing, topped with the brutality of death and singing by Nick Holmes and a pinch of melodic riffs from Gregor Mackintosh. For the fans, it was a return to the source of the band, after being artistically exploring through that decade.  It is a 10-track album that is almost 46 minutes long.
We start with a bang with “As Horizons End”, having this feel of Games of Thrones at the beginning and comes in Nick Holmes aggressively, which is for me a departure of the classic doom I have been used. It is an explosion to the hear, full of melancholy and rage, with the with the remarkable guitar solo in the second half of the song. This is the song that got me hooked on Paradise Lost. One of my favorites of the album, if not the favorite track. The second track, “I remain”, is straight in the continuation of the “As Horizons End”, with excellent lyrics. Again an almost perfect run here. We keep on the continuum with the third track “First Light”. “Frailty” breaks with the cohort, and start with a crescendo tone quickly taken by fast riffs and breaks with the melodic tones of the three first tracks. Another favorite of mine.   The fifth track “Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us” was in my first impression an okay song, but somehow get much more amplification when you watch it with the official videoclip. The psychological violence in it (it is interesting how being held and having your hair cut can have an uneasy feel, directly feeling compassion with the victim), coupled with the depressing lyrics makes it a very powerful song. Judge it by yourself:
https://youtu.be/9BONcpuDcrc

The rest of the album is pretty good, but I kind felt less enthusiastic “The Rise of Denial”, “Living With Scars” and “Universal Dream” are okay songs, but not really got too excited. However, the “Last Regret”, the 8th song of the album is damn good song, well-written and well composed. It is very dark, very depressing and that’s when you feel the power of Paradise Lost.  It is well seconded by “In truth”, the closing song of the song, that has the signature trait of the band.

Overall, it is very good album of Paradise Lost, some saying this return to the source was a wlecome move and I can imagine if I was a first hour fan, I would have welcomed that move.

Rare thing but noteworthy to be noted, Century Media, the label of the band graciously offer the streaming of the album on Youtube, see the link below:

If you have not heard about Paradise Lost, and want something between doom and death metal, you should give a spin. This record hooked me on the band and let me discover their remarkable discography.

Categories
Gothic Metal Metal Music

[Metal/Gothic] Lacuna Coil – In A Reverie (20th anniversary album)

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the first album by the Italian gothic metal band Lacuna Coil “In A Reverie”. My introduction to Lacuna Coil occurred few years later than this album via their album “Unleashed Memories” that a friend lended me over, as I was deep into “The Gathering” back in that days (college years).
Until then, the Italian metal scene was pretty obscure for me, with the Italian music scene mostly represented by some pop artists such as Eros Ramazzotti or Laura Pausini that were spinning on the French airwaves, and in a more sarcastic manner their predominance of the Eurodance.
Lacuna Coil band line up changed a lot over the last 20 years with the exception of the core of the band: Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro. Both made me a very powerful singing duet that is until now pretty unique in the gothic metal scene: both sing clean, no “Beauty and The Beast” duet here. That what makes them unique, as well as their artistic style that has this unique “Lacuna Coil” flavor.
“In A Reverie” is a 9-track album covering about 43 minutes, with two distinct covers: the original cover in which both Cristina and Andrea are posing on their natural clothes, the second one (that I like more) printed for the re-issue of this album. Overall, the album is pretty homogenous, very consistent between tracks, so I will not talk much about it tracks by tracks but rather give my overall feelings in general.
However, there is one track that comes out of the ordinary, that really sounds my favorite. “To Myself I turned”. If you have heard their first EP named “Lacuna Coil”, the whole song is a revamped version of “Falling”, in a better and louder version. It was already a nugget in the EP and Lacuna Coil forged it into a song that is in my opinion the signature of the band.
The album is still spinning on my playlist, 20 years later still holds up decently. What I really liked about the songs were the melancholically lyrics that were just right for me, in a period of time that was emotionally and mentally tough, a period of transition between leaving your teenage years and growing up as an adult. Lacuna Coil was part of that transition and helped cope with emotions that I could not express, that I could not catharsize to other. Since that album, the band has been experiencing a constant change in their line-up, being experiencing various styles (mostly going into a more alternative/mainstream form of metal) but still remains a staple band, one of the few flagship of the Italian metal scene in my library.
Seeing them on tour is next in my bucket list, and I guess my best bet is to see them in Europe, as the band rarely comes abroad and tour in the US (or if they do, in a very few select dates).

Categories
Female-fronted Metal Metal Music Symphonic Metal Uncategorized

[Metal/Pop] Within Temptation – Resist (70%)

After five years of fairly blackout period from the band, following a lot of introspection and need to solve private issues, Within Temptation finally released their new album “Resist” on February 1st. A lot of mystery was on, a lot of speculation too as Sharon launched about a year ago a solo pop album “My Indigo”. How would the album sound? Will they go back to their roots? Will they continue in the direction taken with their previous album “Hydra”? Well, the release of “The Reckoning” kind of gave a flavor and honestly failed to impress me. However, I wanted to give my respect to the band and bought the album (standard edition, the $5 extra for the instrumental tracks and radio edit are in my opinion overpriced). Well, I am gonna tell you, this has been the most divisive album I have to listen because it is not an easy thing to downgrade a band you have been cherished all these years. Imagine you have admiration for what you think is certainly one of the best band you have ever heard, only to realize now that band have been setting the quality bar so low that it is basically feels like any soup served on the FM station (I only listen to the FM radio when I take my wife car, because I forget most of the time my iPod classic in my car. Seldomly taking my wife car).
Thats how I feel and somehow translated in some interviews by the band. You feel the band is exhausted, is running out of juice. Yet, the band is trying to reformulate itself as a new image, a kind of futuristic sci-fi that I honestly don’t dislike, if the music was better. WT has been betting high on taking full sail on the pop-electronica scene, leaving the original fans pretty dry and bitter. I would be honest, I can gut half of the album and not even regret it. But in the same time, there are some tracks that although being really watered down when it comes to metal (maybe the drums are the only thing left) that have still catchy songs. And Sharon shows us again how talented she is. I can guarantee to you she will eat any of the pop singers addicted to auto-tunes with a swift snap. In the realms of meow-meow pop singers, Sharon is the queen. This is an album holding 10 songs, totaling about 48 minutes.
Lets first get rid of the annoying tracks. They failed to impress me and sounded really what I would listen to a FM radio. Basically an auditory torture. “The Reckoning”, “Holy Ground”, “In Vain”, “Firelight” and “Mercy Mirror”, you are out. About more than half of the album made of fillers.
Now lets focus on the interesting tracks. Let’s start with “Endless War”. At first, it sounds like the opening sequence of an Arabic “mussalssal” which is for me a torture for my ears, but it gets better with Sharon kicking in. And it’s good to hear Sharon singing, with some echoes of the past with some musical arrangements reminding of their previous albums mixed with electronic tunes. “Raise Your Banner”, the third track, is okay and maybe of the few that sounds like Symphonic Metal to my ears. “Supernova”, the fourth track is certainly my favorite, the one that grew up on me over listening. Sharon shows us that she can kick, even with the use of electronica and make some catchy tunes.  Listen to it, and tell me you are not captivated by the catchy tunes:

“Mad World” is the next favorite, with a nice mix of both metallic and electronic giving this industrial vibe. Another one in which Sharon is excelling into giving us catchy tunes. “Mercy Mirror” is a fine one, with some metal elements, sounding more familiar to what we expect from the band. “Trophy Hunter” is the third favorite one of the album, by its industrial tunes and the catchy tunes.
Conclusion? Well I will be honest. Sharon has been talking about how the band was exhausted, tired, bored. The mean half of me would say “time to pull the plug and let go” and let members of the band grow and expand their own musical garden. The nice half of me would say “well the band is rebranding themselves with a new look, new logo more palatable to millennials”. By entering the realms of rock/electronic pop, they surely come with a added bonus and advantage because they were at some point a AAA band in the scene and would eat any meow-meow bands out there as my son eats his cereals for breakfast.
Yet, I feel bad and disappointed to have been served such a half-baked cookie after 5 years. Yes, there are some chunks in it that are yummy but the rest of the cookie tasted bland and lacked originality. Not even mentioning the anemic US tour that is basically ignoring the whole southern half of the US (the closest I can get is Denver, which is a whooping 7 hours drive), which adds an extra layer of salt on the wound. The disappointment left by the album makes me really reconsider investing into a trip to Denver. At least, they could have added Dallas to the tour (14 gigs only in the whole North America, including Canada). I guess this the time what I will let their boat sail, me on the docking pier, while swiping my tissue.

Categories
Doom Metal Metal Music Uncategorized

[Music/Doom Metal] Swallow The Sun – When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light (95%)

Three years after the release of “Songs from The North I, II and III”, Swallow The Sun released their latest album “When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light” last January. It has been for a week  spinning on my iTunes while I was working on my grants writing and accompanied me through the pain and sufferance of this Sisyphean punishment shared by any academic researcher.
The band gave us a nice teaser into the album by sharing an off-track composition “Lumina Aurea”, a majestic audiovisual composition, simple but yet deeply intimate. I see this album as Juha marking the last stage of grievance since the passing of Aleah almost three years ago: the stage of acceptance and celebration of love and life. While his contribution in Hallatar super-band album “No Star Upon The Bridge” was intimately fueled with the mourning, the anger and the loss of someone dearest to you, this album felt a majestic escapade of solace, of celebration of life and love via some enjoyable shoegaze-like guitar ballads. The album is a 8-track totaling 53 minutes.
We are greeted by “When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light” which is opening the album with a bang, full of heaviness and guitar ballad, making probably the heaviest song of the album. It sets the tone by celebrating life and love, reiterating that love is stronger than death. The second track, “The Crimson Crown”, introduction appears to me as a continuation of “Lumina Aurea” and taking it where we ended it few weeks ago. It is a just a remarkable guitar ballad, light-hearted and very enjoyable lyrics. The third track of the album is “Firelights”. I personally found it as one of my least favorite ones of the album. You can hear it below.

“Upon The Water”, the fourth track is quickly vanishing “Firelights” out of my mind with a doom track as only Swallow The Sun can write and compose. Majestic track from the album. “Upon the water, song of the birds still echo your silence. The lowtide is gone, forever, forever…“, how can anyone not shed a tear and being rumbled by these lyrics.

“Stone Wings” is another beautiful song to listen, by the combined beauty of the lyrics and the musical arrangement. “And when you speak, words of silence, worlds will crumble in and skies will open“. “Clouds on Your Side”, the sixth track, is a natural flowing song nicely transitioning from the previous track, coming naturally out of the heart “Don’t you ever, don’t you ever close your heart to me?“. I wonder who is the narrator reciting a French poem at the end of the track ending with these words “A travers ton ocean de douleur, le Soleil percera et tu verra un autre jour“. “Here on The Black Earth” is the ninth track, and another beautiful song, typical of Swallow the Sun with a touch of shoegaze. Finally, we conclude the album with “Never Left”, the eight track of the album, that is for me the most sincere, and honest one of the album, because it is about accepting our fate, our loss and hoping that tomorrow we will be reunited again. “It’s too late, to dream again, of tomorrow, without the dark………
What I can say? Well that Swallow the Sun has been perfecting their sound making them unique in the doom metal scene, by their melancholic and richness in the composition. “When A Shadow…..” is a strong album talking about loss, grievance, sufferance but yet about the celebration of love and life. This is the pick of this month, setting the path of being my 2019 album.
“Death is stronger than life. Love is stronger than death”

Categories
Doom Metal Metal Music Uncategorized

[Metal/Doom] Swallow The Sun – Lumina Aurea (EP)

Swallow the Sun just released their EP “Lumina Aurea” today, right on the Winter Solstice, the day with the shortest daylight and the longest night. For those who know Swallow the Sun and their epic melancholic doom, we know that this EP would not be a jolly ride. Indeed, with some project like “Hallatar”, they showed us how dark and melancholic they can reach. But this one, oh my, this one is as dark as it can be in a Finnish forrest on a solstice night. It is an outstanding piece of doom to listen, doubled by an excellent photography of Northern Finland/Lapland and production by excellent Italian musicians (Francesco Sosto, Giuseppe Orlando, Gianpaolo Caprino and Frederico Di Pofi) . Never a forrest covered with pure white snow felt so dark and depressing.
It is an outstanding visual and auditory gift given by the band, a 14-minutes introspection to remember about the ones we loved and that are gone. This is the kind of video you want to see in 4K (put your YT setting on the highest quality) with the best audio equipment, to fully appreciate the beauty of melancholy.
Mors Fortior Quam Vita Est, Amor Fortior Quam Mors Est” (Latin translation: “Death is Stronger than Life, Love is Stronger Than Death). My deepest and sincere condolences for the ones we have lost during this year, my compassions and feels for those that have lost their loved ones.

Categories
Female-fronted Metal Gothic Metal Metal Music Symphonic Metal Uncategorized

[Metal/Opera Metal] Lux in Tenebris – To a New Eternity (EP)

After deciding to put an end on Darkonelly project band few years ago, Marion-Lamita have been working hard behind the scene to produce something different. The announcement back then left me skeptical and somehow disappointed. We can say that  her new project Lux in Tenebris has been producing something interesting. After releasing some solo titles on Youtube (that left me in a limbo, neither being enthusiastic nor being pessimistic about), Lux in Tenebris has released its first EP titled “To A New Eternity” last Friday. Because it is an EP, I don’t give a score but I will anyway give my thoughts on it. The first thing that strikes is the contribution of Liv Kristine (ex-Theatre of Tragedy, ex-Leaves Eyes). Liv has been always been supportive of small bands, in particular during their freshman album. Delain, Hydra…..
This is an EP of 7 titles lasting about 35 minutes with two interludes. We start the EP with  “Divine Mankind” bringing us Marion’s soprano voice, that same haunting voice from Darkonelly. What I like about, in this time in which female-fronted metal symphonic metal is facing a huge glut of bands relying heavily on post-production, is the very particular moderate use of the keyboards. The music in this one is okay, sometimes a bit cheesy. Tony is in the growls on this one, a first time for him. Fairly good for a first-timer. The second one, “Chaos in Beauty” is sounding in my opinion more interesting, sometimes reminding me of Therion. Thats a good track you should listen.
The third track “Mystic Euphonia”, is my opinion the worst track of the album. I don’t know, it must be the beginning of the song that induce some aversive reaction. I don’t like it. At all. The first interlude “Temple of The Soul” has this kind of tribal vibe that is not bad. “Triangle of Light” is my opinion, the best of the EP. It has this pharaonic vibes by the beginning of the song, a very good mixture of the guitars and the synthesizers. It gives me “la palate” so it must be good. Quickly follows the second interlude “The Imperator’s Arrival”.  The last song “The Grand Design”, again featuring Liv Kristine.  It is quite good, decent work here and I would definitely recommend listening to the song.

After almost four years since the disbanding of Darkonelly project, this is the first significative piece of work (in the form of a EP) to emerge from Marion’s effort during her transition into Lux In Tenebris. Although the EP is overall quite pleasant to listen, at this stage I consider it as a fairly rough and raw diamond. Considering it is a project mostly driven by Marion at this point, it is a decent EP to give a try on. It shows some potential, but at this time it needs refining to achieve an optimal shape. It also tells you that having Liv on board is likely that their artistic potential is here. Lets let the sunrise shed some lights and allow the project to emerge from the darkness into light, when opera and metal shed through the darkness.