PENUMBRA


The Last Bewitchment
9 tracks - playing time: 45:16 min.
Season of Mist
Rating: 8.5/10
 
Founded in 1996, this French band has a lot of experience in their ranks and this is audible! Their debut album “Emanate” received excellent reviews all over Europe and sold approximately 6000 copies, which is not a bad start at all for a first album. In 2000 conflicts with their label Serenades Records forced them to break the contract. After that, some members decided to leave the band, leaving only the four core members to start all over again. The search for new members was successful and the newly restrenghtened band recorded a three track demo which they distributed amongst various labels. Seasons of Mist made them the best offer and the recording of “The Last Bewitchment” started soon after signing the deal. When you listen to the first track it is instantly clear what kind of metal they play: Gothic Metal, Nightwish/Tristania/Therion style. “Neutral” sets the tone for an album filled with bombastic choirs, theatrical sopranos and dramatic orchestras. Even though the music is very melodic, the male singer Jarlaath has a nice sharp scream and roaring grunt, just to spice things up a little.

The rest of the album is in the same vein with the best song being the title track: “The Last Bewitchment”. It starts really laid back with a piano, a guitar, some drums and a little bass. Then Jarlaath kicks in, the sopranos start signing and the song is off for 5 minutes of sheer gothic metal euphoria. Obviously I really like this band although it’s hard to say what makes them so special. Maybe it’s the perfect combination of melody and metal packed in a strong production, done by Terje Renes (Sins of Thy Beloved, Tristania). They did a tour in Holland in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing them perform on stage. It should be quite a spectacle with costumes, pyrotechnics and a twenty piece band, if they bring their choir and string quartet. Let’s hope the album title is not a self fulfilling prophecy because I’m eager to hear more of this excellent octet.

(Roy)

© Rockezine.com May 29, 2002, viewed 624 times since 666
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