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Tanuki
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:36 pm
Posts: 336
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:08 pm 
 

Looking good! Just two more quick things:

"Firewind has delivered since Apollo entered the band in 2005" (no need for the comma after 'band')
"Henning Base, known for his work with Metallium"

Good luck when you submit it :thumbsup:

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Palecompanion2001
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:16 am
Posts: 3
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:25 pm 
 

My revised version of my first review. Anything else I need to look for?


Until we die, is a very talented one man melodic deathcore band out of Austria. "Before the decay of time," is their first full length album and quite possibly the best deathcore release of 2016. Deathcore as a genre has seen an extreme downfall becoming mostly generic and watered down chugging. Luckily this album really gives me hope that melodic deathcore can take a rise again and make deathcore have riffs again.

The album is 13 tracks long including the bonus track, and around 43 minutes in length. Generally a little longer than most deathcore albums. It was released through Chugcore around the end of November 2016. It starts off with a nice soothing atmospheric intro and really gets straight to what this album is about. The melodic riffs are absolutely crushing on this album and are some of the best in the genre. Out of most melodic deathcore bands until we die easily has the best riffs. Until we die is really like if And Hell Followed with and The Black Dahlia Murder had a child and added crushing breakdowns.

The riffs can sound similar throughout the album but it's extremely intriguing how they all sound and manage to keep my attention, the riffs are really my main attraction to this record. They really do remind me mostly of The Black Dahlia Murder. The album I would say it the epitome of melodic deathcore, keeping a lot of melodic death metal tendencies and riffs but still keeping brutal breakdowns with those old school deathcore roots.

The vocals are extremely powerful. His lows are monstrous and extremely beefy is the best way I can describe it. His highs are ear piercing in a way, reminds me of Orion Stephens of In Dying Arms at times. There is a lot of vocal range on this album which is a great bonus. Also there is 310 bpm vocals on the song Forsake the Fallen so check that out.

The drums are programmed, but sound very well for being programmed. The drums actually flow extremely throughout the album along with the riffs. Overall the album is full of talent, for one man I am very surprised on how this final product came out. The production on this album is so crisp and clean, Its really nice to listen too. This album is great and is really the best deathcore album of 2016. I highly recommend this album for fans of deathcore and melodic death metal.

For fans of: The Black Dahlia Murder, And Hell Followed With, Angelmaker, and Rose Funeral.

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Diamhea
Eats and Spits Corpses

Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:46 pm
Posts: 9275
Location: At the Heat of Winter
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:09 pm 
 

Make sure to properly capitalise all band/album/song titles.
_________________
nuclearskull wrote:
Leave a steaming, stinking Rotting Repulsive Rotting Corpse = LIVE YOUNG - DIE FREE and move on to the NEXT form of yourself....or just be a fat Wal-Mart Mcdonalds pc of shit what do I give a fuck what you do.

Last.fm

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PETERG
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:48 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Greece
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:11 pm 
 

Here is the review that i wrote for Wolfnacht's latest album. Please point out all my mistakes or things that you would change. It helps a lot. Thanks in advance!

Ah nsbm... in the year of 2017 some may consider this sub-genre of black metal a joke grown old . It is true that we all had our fun, making funny impersonations of Adolf Hitler and shouting multiple "Sieg Heil" while listening to terrible bedroom black metal expressions from Satanic Warmaster to freaking Pagan Warrior 88. And here comes Wolfnacht to prove that nsbm can have a serious and nice approach at the same time. Innovative riffs, somehow different vocals and the ability to not follow any trend or aesthetic that makes this genre so gimmicky are some of the aspects that make one consider Athalwolf' s project something different from the barrages of idiotic neo-Nazis who picked a guitar and started playing music.

So what makes this album so interesting? Well at first sight the sole fact that it is a concept album. As mentioned above Athalwolf gives us a plethora of mature and innovative songs in order to narrate his story. The story is really good albeit not something of extreme complexity; sorry this is not "Operation: Mindcrime" or "Metropolis Pt.2 : Scenes from a Memory" with blast beats and extreme vocals. Here we experience a really good storytelling with almost excellent flow as we witness how a Waffen SS group wanders around seeking the mythic Greek land of "Ypervoreia". This is indeed surprising and challenging in terms of listening as the only thing we have witnessesed in Wolfancht's previous attempts were the classic nsbm worships to the guy with the mustache and some pagan legends. Moreover the implementation of lyrics in the composer's mother language, Greek, makes the vibe on the tracks more exotic.

Moving on to the instrumentation the guitars play the protagonist in setting up the atmosphere and feel of this black metal record. In this section we do not come by any surprises, instead we hear the classic personal style of the band : a lot of 6/4 rhythms and the classic influences from military marches usually combined with blast beats. What comes as a nice assert is the smart use of blast beats as they are slower than usual and with a more atmospheric tone. This at no point drives the whole thing down; on the other hand it ends as a pretty nice inclusion which gives dynamic and lyricism to the songs. Last but not least some riffs played in a classic guitar are used to connect the various rhythmic changes of the compositions, which is a lot better if you consider how awfully abused they are as cheesy fillers in most nsbm bands. The whole album gives the listener the feeling of traveling on his own and trying to find this legendary land.

Having praised the album for its advantages let us pose some drawbacks that may be too obvious and appalling for someone who is not a fan of the genre. First of all it is weird that the production is so unbalanced. On the one the folk and orchestra parts have depth and a clear sound but on the other the more heavy parts have no bass at all. All right I know it is black metal where bass is not of much essence but this does not settle into something good. Especially when it is combined with that atrocious snare drum. God why so many bands use that terrible snare? It seems that after Drudkh's 2007 "Enstragement" many bands decide to copy the exact same snare in order to sound more... "kvlt" or something? The album is in some parts, for instance in the second track "Entrance to the Frigid Zone ", watered down by the sound of the snare drums which literally sounds like a combination of a tin can and a bucket. This is the only part in which somebody could say to Athalwolf " You do not need to make EVERYTHING different!".

All things concluded if someone insults you for liking nsbm show them this album. As I said before it does not have the complexity that one might seek but it does not sound as bad as most of today's nsbm do. Now the only thing that is demanded from the band is to stick on this way and progress on their sound even more. Who knows maybe that way nsbm can become just a lyrical theme in the end rather than this cluster of
bands that sound exactly the same.


75/100
_________________
R.I.P. Diamhea.




-The message just repeats. 'Regret, Regret, Regret.'
-Catchy. Any idea what it means?
- Dear Humanity... we regret being alien bastards. We regret coming to Earth. And we most definitely regret that the Corps just blew up our raggedy-ass fleet!

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:02 pm 
 

I'm not going to spend more than 30 seconds on anything NSBM (not lower case, since this is an acronym), so this is what you get: get your punctuation in its proper places, edit the prolonged introductory phrases, and .. I dunno .. fuck wannabe Nazis.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 26636
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:31 pm 
 

Talking about NSBM like it's just another normal lyrical theme to have is so fucking bizarre to me.
_________________
Cinema Freaks latest reviews: The Pyramid, Funny Games

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iRaptr
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:49 am
Posts: 116
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:26 pm 
 

Here it is my Twilight Force - Heroes on Mighty Magic review:

Spoiler: show
Do you like Rhapsody but you think that they are not Disney enough? If you answered "yes" to this question then this album is for you. If you answered "no", don't close the page just yet, maybe you will be curious to hear the album after reading this review. Twilight Force, founded in 2011, put out their full-length debut in 2014 - "Tales of Ancient Prophecies". The only flaw the album had was its length, clocking at 36 minutes, and removing the narrations was more of an EP than a full-length. Fortunately, this problem no longer exists on "Heroes of Mighty Magic" since it has 1 hour and 10 minutes of epic dragons, magic and orchestrations. They are also quickly making a name for themselves since they have recently supported Sabaton and Sonata Arctica, two giants of the current power metal scene.

Looking at the album cover, made by Kerem Beyit, you get a pretty good idea of what you might expect to hear. A dragon spitting purple flames (how metal is that?!), a starry sky and, on the back cover, a castle that almost resembles the Disney one. If this isn't epic enough for you, in the booklet you can read the story of the characters of Twilight Force including their stats and a detailed map of the Twilight Kingdoms. Metal doesn't get more epic than this, I can assure you that.

Moving on to the release itself, the production was made to get "maximum fidelity and not loudness". While the guitars are, of course, present they were pushed back giving space to the orchestrations to shine and to have a bigger role than in "Tale of Ancient Prophecies" so don't expect to hear tons of guitar riffs. The album's orchestrations composed by the keyboardist Blackwald are definitely one of the highlights, having multiple layers and instruments (they even have Glockenspiels!) emphasising the "symphonic" part of their style and sometimes the "Disney" part. You are bound to get lost in the magic world forged by the orchestrations and almost making you forgot that you are listening to a metal album and not an epic classical album, being "Guardian of the Seas" a good example of that.

Moreover, all the members absolutely shine on the album. The vocalist Chrileon, having a "battle cry" as a special skill, has a fantastic range hitting the high notes really well but still making the lyrics perceptive. The drummer, having according to the booklet infinite vitality, does a tremendous job through the album, and the guitars absolutely shine especially in the solos part. This album also has two guests participating with their vocal capabilities, each of them being on one of the two long songs of the album. The frontman of Sabaton does a return appearing on the title track, contrasting well with his heavier voice. The other guest, and no surprises here since he has probably participated in almost every power metal band that exists, is Fabio Leone taking part in "There and Back Again", making this song the most similar one to Rhapsody (and this is a good thing).

The album ends with a narration, the "Epilogue" and it is advised to hear it with Headphones since it is a binaural beating. Clocking at almost seven minutes, it could be a little shorter, but that more of a personal opinion and not a flaw. Just sit back and enjoy the track while you hear the story as the final track it perhaps one of the most memorable track that Twilight Force has done: a hymn dedicated to the fans, a perfect way to close a perfect album.

To sum up, this album is an awesome journey to the Twilight Kingdoms that every metal (and non-metal) fan should hear and have in its collection. To the people that answered "no" to the initial question of the review, I hope that it got your interest. If it didn't, listen to it anyway, you don't want to miss one of the best symphonic power metal albums ever released.

<i>"So, behold the flight of the sapphire dragon,
Soaring through the skies once again"</i>


Any help is appreciated and thanks in advance! :)
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:56 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Talking about NSBM like it's just another normal lyrical theme to have is so fucking bizarre to me.

I agree. It's pretty surreal. Not to mention that patronizing sigh at the beginning, "ah NSBM .. you silly little psychological plague ship." Shit gets under my skin, man. I'm not a fan of censorship, but I see no reason to argue with this exception. Categorically fuck that.

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PETERG
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:48 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Greece
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:39 pm 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
Empyreal wrote:
Talking about NSBM like it's just another normal lyrical theme to have is so fucking bizarre to me.

I agree. It's pretty surreal. Not to mention that patronizing sigh at the beginning, "ah NSBM .. you silly little psychological plague ship." Shit gets under my skin, man. I'm not a fan of censorship, but I see no reason to argue with this exception. Categorically fuck that.



Thanks for the feedback both of you. I am going to poilish my text and correct my punctuation mistakes. I also think that the humorous apptoach of a in the introduction is not necessary.
_________________
R.I.P. Diamhea.




-The message just repeats. 'Regret, Regret, Regret.'
-Catchy. Any idea what it means?
- Dear Humanity... we regret being alien bastards. We regret coming to Earth. And we most definitely regret that the Corps just blew up our raggedy-ass fleet!

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Quazar
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:34 am
Posts: 5
Location: Ukraine
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:02 pm 
 

Hello... Can someone help me to make my reviews more acceptable?

Prevail - War Will Reign (Death Metal)
Spoiler: show
Quite a few minor grammar mistakes; needs to be proofread by a native English speaker.

Review title / summary :Crushingly heavy but yet melodic

The first thing that attracts attention while listening to this album is an extremely dense sound. It seems like it physically can be touched by hand, like this thick substance at any moment may spill out of the speakers to flood your dwelling. Perhaps the closest band which gives a similar feeling is ‘Sulphur Aeon’, considering the fact that ‘Sulphur Aeon’ has a completely different atmosphere and (less) melodics. Musically, I found ‘Prevail’ close to specific Dutch death metal acts like ‘God Dethroned’ or ‘Hail of Bullets’, but with an even more melodic and not so soft sound as ‘God Dethroned’ for example. Possibly like ‘Asphyx’ might sound if they would play faster. Also, I often saw some comparisons with ‘Illdisposed’ and ‘Bolt Thrower’. Despite I wasn't much impressed by the ‘Bolt Thrower’ discography and badly familiar with the ‘Illdisposed’ albums, I can't deny that ‘Prevail’ suffers from some lack of originality. But come on, this band has tons of other advantages and provides possibly one of the most impressive death metal of the latest years.

I didn't dig deep in their history, however, it seems that this band was founded by former ‘Svartsot’ members Michael Lundquist Andersen, Claus B. Gnudtzmann and Niels P. Thøgersen in 2009. Then after several line-up changes they released their first EP in 2013, and only after almost eight years after the founding they released their current work. So it remains only to guess how long they actually worked and polish the sound on this album because it looks really strong and mature, especially as a first album of a less-known band. In this way ‘Prevail’ even more reminds me ‘Hail of Bullets’ that actually was the supergroup from the start.

Besides excellent technical performance of all instruments (especially rhythm section) this guys demonstrate good songwriting skills. Almost every song has a decent composition, some non trivial musical moves and surprisingly catchy melodies. Of course, it's not melodic death in the modern sense because of absolutely different riffing and overall sound. However, ‘Prevail’ shows what melodic death metal really could be if some particular Swedish bands killed each other before the release of their first demos.

The vocals on this album are performed by former ‘Svartsot’ member Claus B. Gnudtzmann. He shows good technical skills and vocal recordings are great, but nothing extraordinary and quite all in the same key except a few cases. Check out the song with the telling title ‘Voices’. Generally, it's not easy to find a really good harsh vocalist todays, and grunts here are far better than average and not annoying.

As for specific songs almost all are pretty enjoyable, my personal favorite is ‘Exterminate the Weak’. The very few songs I can't get are ‘Face What Remains’, ‘Tyrants’ and ‘Seven Deadly Sins’. Every one is not bad at all, just seems a bit weaker than the rest of the album. I don't know are the lyrics available somewhere, but aurally it sounds like the regular gentlemen's set of lyrical themes: war, religion and inner struggles. All at all, this album holds the attention long and firmly because of its unique dense and hard sound, and phenomenal combination of rigidity and melodics.

This is definitely a must-listen for both fans of old-school death and melodic death metal. I really hope that the release of their next album will need to wait much less than ten years.

Highlights: Exterminate the Weak, Betrayer, Smiting Your Enemy, No Holds Barred

Similarities: God Dethroned, Hail of Bullets, Sulphur Aeon

Nothing Lies Beyond - Fragile Reality (Melodic Death Metal)
Spoiler: show
Quite a few minor grammar mistakes; needs to be proofread by a native English speaker.

Review title / summary :Timeback machine of perfection

Can you imagine a perfect melodic death metal? How would it sound? This album gives a possible answer by combining everything we love in this genre, and nothing excessive. There are no annoying keyboards nor clean refrains. The first thing is an old-school 90s-like sound. The second thing - an excellent songwriting of early ‘In Flames’. The third is a high speed just like in ‘Gates of Ishtar’. The fourth is a great atmosphere of early ‘Dark Tranquillity’. That does not mean ‘Nothing Lies Beyond’ is just a mix of bands listed above, they have lots of own trump cards. Believe or not, their music seems to relate to the melodic death classic like this classic relates to typical death metal of that time. You may call it ultramelodic death metal, or archetype - that's what it really is. What thing does actually make melodic death metal oneself? Of course melodies and ‘Fragile Reality’ has tons of supercatchy ones! Now combine it with variable temp of compositions and imagine how surprisingly this band demonstrates great composition and songwriting skills for a debut album. Instead of supposed Deathcore influences I found some blackened ones which make the material even more similar to ‘Gates of Ishtar’ or sometimes to the ‘In Flames’ first album. Generally blackened sound is quite usual for the first wave of melodic death metal.

The history of ‘Nothing Lies Beyond’ looks unusually typical for such a great result. This band was founded in 2011 by the mostly unfamiliar with each other before guys communicated through the internet. After five years, after several line-up changes and style variations they started the production of the debut album. None of the bandmembers had previous known bands or previous works. So it's even more amazing how strong this album is.

The excellent work of the lead guitar... Well, actually all instruments are performed excellently. But the lead guitar parts are probably the most responsible for melodies in a way reminds me the ‘Colony’ album by ‘In Flames’. It seems like this album in a short thirty minutes contains more melodies than ‘Colony’, previous ‘In Flames’ works and all 90s classics all together! And the rhythm-section also performs great speedy and varied-tempo parts. Moreover, rhythm and lead parts here often are so different from each other by the temp and signature that seems like it couldn't sound good together, but it does! Is there something I forgot? Oh, yes, vocals performed by Ido Asa! I don't know who is this guy, but it's hard to believe that all vocal parts on this album are performed by the only one person. All screams and grunts are flawless technically, have much expression, and sound absolutely awesome. I easily can imagine how the Gothenburg bands could cry with bloody tears of envy if they could have the opportunity to hear it in the 90s. Seriously, one of the best vocal parts I ever heard in the genre. And unfortunately we can only guess about lyrics.

The opening intro is a short atmospheric unformat track which sounds like a calm before the storm. ‘Closed in Chains’ begins like... well, not exactly like the storm, but some kind of "blues metal" I guess. Then the rhythm quickly speeds up. Actually, all songs on the album has various rhythms, mostly with prevailing speedy parts. ‘Closed in Chains’ is the most diverse and most interesting track in this way and is my personal favorite. Next one ‘Lost’ has a notable solo and an acoustic Gothenburg-style part. Guitar solos are one of the strongest aspects of the current album. ‘Another Place’ is the shortest track on the album (discounting intro) with the ultracatchy opening melody and the rare episodic (almost) clean voice. Then the album continues by the speediest track ‘Never Back Down’ with another great solo and almost neoclassical ending. ‘Fading Beyond False Eyes’ is a very Gothenburg-style song with acoustic parts. I previously wasn't much impressed by ‘Final Fight’, but this is also great and probably the hardest track on album. Both ‘Final Fight’ and ‘Visions’ built on rather "rhythmic" than "solo" melodies. The album ends by the track ‘We Are the Revolution’ which in turn ends with clean choir shouts and breakdowns. Does it hint that their next album will be in a different style? Will see.

All at all, it is probably the most promising debut I ever heard in old-school melodic death metal. I tried hard to find any flaws and found nothing. It's pure brilliant, every song, possibly except intro (which is not bad at all, just not so good for the such great album and looks unnecessary). Someone could say that it is too short, but come on, many classics in the genre lasts 30-35 minutes. So all I could say about it - perfect length.

Highlights: Closed in Chains, Another Place, We Are the Revolution

Similarities: In Flames, Gates of Ishtar, Dark Tranquillity

Any notes?

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:49 pm 
 

Quazar wrote:
Despite I wasn't much impressed by the ‘Bolt Thrower’ discography

:thumbsdown:

The reviews' English is up to a mod to determine the acceptability of, but it's good enough for me to work with the structure, even if it doesn't meet the minimum standards. I'll leave it up to any interested party to make those specific corrections as they are many, and my forehead would probably split.

Compositionally speaking, they're comprehensible first drafts. The flow of ideas wanders, particularly in the second review. It's best to tighten up your organization and complete your thoughts on a general topic before moving on to the next topic (the value inherent in constructing at least a general outline). Also, just as a general point, avoid telling us how much research you didn't do. Either do that research or just tell us how much you know. Few people are going to read past "I didn't really look this band up before writing this."

Formatting is a problem. Band names are proper nouns, like your own name. You don't put apostrophes around your own name, I hope. Read the site rules for formatting instructions. General editing is a major need. In some places, the wording is confusingly brief, in other places, there are unnecessary sentences. Try reading it out loud. Even if you don't know English as well as you'd like, I can already tell that you know it well enough for this technique to help you make phrasing and clarity improvements right away.

Keep working on these. It's good practice, and learning to write in another language takes a lot of that.

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Quazar
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:34 am
Posts: 5
Location: Ukraine
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:41 am 
 

Thanks for reading :D

Those apostrophes are just placeholders for the italic tags. Hope now looks better.

Prevail - War Will Reign (Death Metal)
Spoiler: show
Quite a few minor grammar mistakes; needs to be proofread by a native English speaker.

Review title / summary :Crushingly heavy but yet melodic

The first thing that attracts attention while listening to this album is an extremely dense sound. It seems like it physically can be touched by hand, like this thick substance at any moment may spill out of the speakers to flood your dwelling. Perhaps the closest band which gives a similar feeling is Sulphur Aeon, considering the fact that Sulphur Aeon has a completely different atmosphere and (less) melodics. Musically, I found Prevail close to specific Dutch death metal acts like God Dethroned or Hail of Bullets, but with an even more melodic and not so soft sound as God Dethroned for example. Possibly like Asphyx might sound if they would play faster. Also, I often saw some comparisons with Illdisposed and Bolt Thrower. Despite I wasn't much impressed by the Bolt Thrower discography and badly familiar with the Illdisposed albums, I can't deny that Prevail suffers from some lack of originality. But come on, this band has tons of other advantages and provides possibly one of the most impressive death metal of the latest years.

I didn't dig deep in their history, however, it seems that this band was founded by former Svartsot members Michael Lundquist Andersen, Claus B. Gnudtzmann and Niels P. Thøgersen in 2009. Then after several line-up changes they released their first EP in 2013, and only after almost eight years after the founding they released their current work. So it remains only to guess how long they actually worked and polish the sound on this album because it looks really strong and mature, especially as a first album of a less-known band. In this way Prevail even more reminds me Hail of Bullets that actually was the supergroup from the start.

Besides excellent technical performance of all instruments (especially rhythm section) this guys demonstrate good songwriting skills. Almost every song has a decent composition, some non trivial musical moves and surprisingly catchy melodies. Of course, it's not melodic death in the modern sense because of absolutely different riffing and overall sound. However, Prevail shows what melodic death metal really could be if some particular Swedish bands killed each other before the release of their first demos.

The vocals on this album are performed by former Svartsot member Claus B. Gnudtzmann. He shows good technical skills and vocal recordings are great, but nothing extraordinary and quite all in the same key except a few cases. Check out the song with the telling title Voices. Generally, it's not easy to find a really good harsh vocalist todays, and grunts here are far better than average and not annoying.

As for specific songs almost all are pretty enjoyable, my personal favorite is Exterminate the Weak. The very few songs I can't get are Face What Remains, Tyrants and Seven Deadly Sins. Every one is not bad at all, just seems a bit weaker than the rest of the album. I don't know are the lyrics available somewhere, but aurally it sounds like the regular gentlemen's set of lyrical themes: war, religion and inner struggles. All at all, this album holds the attention long and firmly because of its unique dense and hard sound, and phenomenal combination of rigidity and melodics.

This is definitely a must-listen for both fans of old-school death and melodic death metal. I really hope that the release of their next album will need to wait much less than ten years.

Highlights: Exterminate the Weak, Betrayer, Smiting Your Enemy, No Holds Barred

Similarities: God Dethroned, Hail of Bullets, Sulphur Aeon

Nothing Lies Beyond - Fragile Reality (Melodic Death Metal)
Spoiler: show
Quite a few minor grammar mistakes; needs to be proofread by a native English speaker.

Review title / summary :Timeback machine of perfection

Can you imagine a perfect melodic death metal? How would it sound? This album gives a possible answer by combining everything we love in this genre, and nothing excessive. There are no annoying keyboards nor clean refrains. The first thing is an old-school 90s-like sound. The second thing - an excellent songwriting of early In Flames. The third is a high speed just like in Gates of Ishtar. The fourth is a great atmosphere of early Dark Tranquillity. That does not mean Nothing Lies Beyond is just a mix of bands listed above, they have lots of own trump cards. Believe or not, their music seems to relate to the melodic death classic like this classic relates to typical death metal of that time. You may call it ultramelodic death metal, or archetype - that's what it really is. What thing does actually make melodic death metal oneself? Of course melodies and Fragile Reality has tons of supercatchy ones! Now combine it with variable temp of compositions and imagine how surprisingly this band demonstrates great composition and songwriting skills for a debut album. Instead of supposed Deathcore influences I found some blackened ones which make the material even more similar to Gates of Ishtar or sometimes to the In Flames first album. Generally blackened sound is quite usual for the first wave of melodic death metal.

The history of Nothing Lies Beyond looks unusually typical for such a great result. This band was founded in 2011 by the mostly unfamiliar with each other before guys communicated through the internet. After five years, after several line-up changes and style variations they started the production of the debut album. None of the bandmembers had previous known bands or previous works. So it's even more amazing how strong this album is.

The excellent work of the lead guitar... Well, actually all instruments are performed excellently. But the lead guitar parts are probably the most responsible for melodies in a way reminds me the Colony album by In Flames. It seems like this album in a short thirty minutes contains more melodies than Colony, previous In Flames works and all 90s classics all together! And the rhythm-section also performs great speedy and varied-tempo parts. Moreover, rhythm and lead parts here often are so different from each other by the temp and signature that seems like it couldn't sound good together, but it does! Is there something I forgot? Oh, yes, vocals performed by Ido Asa! I don't know who is this guy, but it's hard to believe that all vocal parts on this album are performed by the only one person. All screams and grunts are flawless technically, have much expression, and sound absolutely awesome. I easily can imagine how the Gothenburg bands could cry with bloody tears of envy if they could have the opportunity to hear it in the 90s. Seriously, one of the best vocal parts I ever heard in the genre. And unfortunately we can only guess about lyrics.

The opening intro is a short atmospheric unformat track which sounds like a calm before the storm. Closed in Chains begins like... well, not exactly like the storm, but some kind of "blues metal" I guess. Then the rhythm quickly speeds up. Actually, all songs on the album has various rhythms, mostly with prevailing speedy parts. Closed in Chains is the most diverse and most interesting track in this way and is my personal favorite. Next one Lost has a notable solo and an acoustic Gothenburg-style part. Guitar solos are one of the strongest aspects of the current album. Another Place is the shortest track on the album (discounting intro) with the ultracatchy opening melody and the rare episodic (almost) clean voice. Then the album continues by the speediest track Never Back Down with another great solo and almost neoclassical ending. Fading Beyond False Eyes is a very Gothenburg-style song with acoustic parts. I previously wasn't much impressed by Final Fight, but this is also great and probably the hardest track on album. Both Final Fight and Visions built on rather "rhythmic" than "solo" melodies. The album ends by the track We Are the Revolution which in turn ends with clean choir shouts and breakdowns. Does it hint that their next album will be in a different style? Will see.

All at all, it is probably the most promising debut I ever heard in old-school melodic death metal. I tried hard to find any flaws and found nothing. It's pure brilliant, every song, possibly except intro (which is not bad at all, just not so good for the such great album and looks unnecessary). Someone could say that it is too short, but come on, many classics in the genre lasts 30-35 minutes. So all I could say about it - perfect length.

Highlights: Closed in Chains, Another Place, We Are the Revolution

Similarities: In Flames, Gates of Ishtar, Dark Tranquillity

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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:30 pm 
 

Quazar, that's still wrong because band names aren't italicized. They're proper nouns, remember? Like your own name. Read the rules: The FAQ is at the top of the Reviews Discussion subforum.

When you talk about something being good, or better than average, in the case of the vocals or "grunts," be more descriptive. This goes for all your points, really. If you're talking to someone who already knows what you're talking about (someone well familiarized with death metal), this might be enough to get an impression, but it's good practice to not assume that your reader has more than a general idea. A "better than average grunt" isn't much to go on. Fleshing out your descriptions will make your points more clearly, make your descriptions more accurate, and will work to stretch your vocabulary. (There are lots of dictionary sites online, but freedictionary.com has one of the better thesaurus sections I've found. Thesaurus.com fucking sucks.)

Personally, I'd steer you away from the highlights and similarities sections at the end. Incorporate that information into the musical description of the review.

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Quazar
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:34 am
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Location: Ukraine
PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:59 pm 
 

Grave_Wyrm, I really appreciate your advices and promise to take it into account if I will write more reviews in future.
However, I would be very grateful for any help with current rejection reasons (grammar/spelling).

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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:20 am 
 

See, I understand that. Not only is that pretty time consuming, it doesn't attend to what I consider to be the more substantial corrections. Imagine I do all that, and you spend no time at all on composition. You could just cut and paste my corrections, and I've essentially done your homework for you. I've done enough of that in the past. Besides, what's your hurry? I will do that for you once you've made some headway on the structural corrections and compositional work that, to me, matter way more to quality than a couple dozen technical issues.

Someone else can do all that, if they really want to, but it's not going to be me until we work on some of the other issues together.

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Quazar
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:34 am
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Location: Ukraine
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:00 pm 
 

Well... I did my best writing these reviews, but ok, I will try to improve it.
I'm not pretending to be a professional reviewer, my only aim is just to support these specific bands.

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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:17 pm 
 

So these are promotional pieces, or personal reviews?

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Quazar
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:34 am
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:27 pm 
 

Obviously 100% of my reviews is my personal opinion.

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Spider_X
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:48 pm
Posts: 119
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:21 am 
 

[I was asked by Diamhea to copy/paste my review here, as he couldn't remember why he had rejected it, and was unable to view the link I had provided. I have been around since '06, but have just gotten into doing reviews. Last month I did one and it was accepted. I did this one, and the reason given was unclear; but, in the message that Diamhea sent to me he said "Then we can help you make it acceptable." This would mean alot, because I would like to start contributing more reviews. If I know what I am doing wrong, I can try to avoid it in the next one.]


This is one ingenious, complexity of an album!!!! (This is the title of the review)

O.k., so when I had entered this album into the Archives back in early March, I was listening to it.. however in being pre-occupied with updating the information, I wasn't really 'listening' to it exactly. I really hated that I did that.


So, two nights ago I just happen to think of it, and listen to it uninterrupted, and completely. I wasn't really quite sure what I was listening to, and I do not mean that in a bad way. The complexity of this album is very intense, and as I was listening, it actually made me think. When was the last time I listened to an album that did that? I can't think of one..


With this album, Vladimyr obviously wanted to take his music into a much more profound direction. And, in doing so, you can really tell exactly just what he was wanting to accomplish with Return of the Dragon-Ant. I did not know this at the time, when I had entered in the album onto the Archives, but it's solely him on this new album, and when I was told this by Vladimyr himself the other evening when I had some questions about it, I was truly astounded! It is so good that you really can't tell.. I really had no idea.


So, about Return of the Dragon-Ant, again like I had mentioned this album really made me think upon actually listening to the whole album. Vladimyr's style of black metal is still present throughout the album, in a few of the songs (but, not as completely all black metal, though). But, I certianly wasn't expecting the nice surprize of hearing excessive, deep-style gutteral growl, but then the smooth blending in of cold black metal vocals........ but, then, this album has so much melody to it, how he'll go from death metal singing then go really low with the range......... but, then blend in just a bit of melody to the sound. Key points to this album, are definitely his unique range of singing ability, the guitar work on here is exceptionally sensational!!!! On the tracks "Death Experiment" and "Bloodspree", you can really get the feel of everything, in what I'm trying to desribe............... the vocal melodies are just so riveting!!!!! I also really have to mention "Broken Seal", very slow, you can almost feel a sense of pain of emotion when listening to it. This is probably the most powerful song on the entire album. I am actually so touched when I listen to this one.


But, basically, the whole album is just a serious delight to listen to. I feel I need to point out the last song "Hostile Apocalypse", here. Now, I have listened to this album quite a few times already (am also listening to it now, as I write this); but "Hostile Apocalypse", this is the one I keep on hitting the repeat button back to at the album's end. Absolute master at the keyboard, wasn't really expecting a song like this to be on an album like this; however I am really glad that it is on here, because it has become my favorite!


As I love the entire album, two of the tracks just stand out to me, because they both seriously pull at my emotions and I feel like I am pulled into the songs when I am listening to, because I can honestly feel it. Those two tracks would be, "Broken Seal" and "Hostile Apocalypse". (Sometimes, I also finding myself hitting repeat with "Broken Seal", just for the sheer passion of it alone; because it is just so damn beautiful.)

If you thrive off both a mixture of death and black metal, but want something extremely different than what's all out there, I strongly suggest checking this album out. Truly, in all honesty it is a masterpiece!
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Tanuki
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Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:36 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:15 pm 
 

Hey Spider

I like what you were saying in the first two paragraphs: the juxtaposition between "listening but not really paying attention", but then it pulling you in the second time? That's good, but it could've been more concise. You mentioned adding the album to the archives twice, but in a review, that doesn't need to be said once.

Try to avoid all of the "okay's" and "so's". A review can be a little bit casual, but it shouldn't sound like a phone conversation. I noticed a lot of unnecessary words like "I wasn't really quite sure". "I wasn't sure" would work fine, and it's a lot simpler to read. Compare "You can really tell exactly just what he was wanting to accomplish" versus "You can tell what he was trying to accomplish." I would also take out the ellipses and multiple exclamation marks, as it makes the whole thing look unprofessional. Finally, make sure to run your review through a spell-checker. I noticed 'surprize' and some typos like 'desribe' and 'certianly'.

As for the music: It's emotional, it's different, and it's a mixture of death and black metal. That's cool, but it doesn't really tell me how it sounds. The production quality - clean or fuzzy? The song structure - unpredictable or repetitive? The riffs and vocals - what could you compare him to? Do leads sound medieval like Dissection, does the vocalist sound like Ihsahn, etc? Imagine you're someone else reading your review. You'd need more than just "it's powerful" to convince you to check it out, right?

Good luck!

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Spider_X
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:48 pm
Posts: 119
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:29 pm 
 

Tanuki wrote:
Hey Spider

I like what you were saying in the first two paragraphs: the juxtaposition between "listening but not really paying attention", but then it pulling you in the second time? That's good, but it could've been more concise. You mentioned adding the album to the archives twice, but in a review, that doesn't need to be said once.

Try to avoid all of the "okay's" and "so's". A review can be a little bit casual, but it shouldn't sound like a phone conversation. I noticed a lot of unnecessary words like "I wasn't really quite sure". "I wasn't sure" would work fine, and it's a lot simpler to read. Compare "You can really tell exactly just what he was wanting to accomplish" versus "You can tell what he was trying to accomplish." I would also take out the ellipses and multiple exclamation marks, as it makes the whole thing look unprofessional. Finally, make sure to run your review through a spell-checker. I noticed 'surprize' and some typos like 'desribe' and 'certianly'.

As for the music: It's emotional, it's different, and it's a mixture of death and black metal. That's cool, but it doesn't really tell me how it sounds. The production quality - clean or fuzzy? The song structure - unpredictable or repetitive? The riffs and vocals - what could you compare him to? Do leads sound medieval like Dissection, does the vocalist sound like Ihsahn, etc? Imagine you're someone else reading your review. You'd need more than just "it's powerful" to convince you to check it out, right?

Good luck!

Well, I don't know if that was what all what Diamhea found wrong with it, but that does help immensely! I do appreciate your input. I wonder if I should wait for him to comment before I revise my review?
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Tanuki
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Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:36 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:09 pm 
 

Spider_X wrote:
Well, I don't know if that was what all what Diamhea found wrong with it, but that does help immensely! I do appreciate your input. I wonder if I should wait for him to comment before I revise my review?

Diamhea is looking for reviews that follow the rules and guidelines (which can be seen here). The general idea is a clear description of the music with minimal spelling/grammar mistakes, all while avoiding a "track-by-track" style. So after you work on your review a bit, it's up to you whether you want to post the second draft here in this forum, or resubmit it to the queue.

And no prob, glad I could help out :thumbsup:

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Spider_X
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:48 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:51 am 
 

Tanuki wrote:
Spider_X wrote:
Well, I don't know if that was what all what Diamhea found wrong with it, but that does help immensely! I do appreciate your input. I wonder if I should wait for him to comment before I revise my review?

Diamhea is looking for reviews that follow the rules and guidelines (which can be seen here). The general idea is a clear description of the music with minimal spelling/grammar mistakes, all while avoiding a "track-by-track" style. So after you work on your review a bit, it's up to you whether you want to post the second draft here in this forum, or resubmit it to the queue.

And no prob, glad I could help out :thumbsup:

Sorry, for the late reply back. I am actually about to start revising my review. After looking back on what I had written, I really can't believe all the mistakes that I had made! I really am glad that Diamhea suggested that I post it in here, for again you really have been a tremendous help, Tanuki!

If, when I revise it, and (if) it by chance still gets rejected I will post it here again for further help. But, if I can have one successful review, I am sure I can get this one done ;)
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Tanuki
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:27 am 
 

No problem! You have a lot of energy and enthusiasm in your writing, and you can take criticism well, so those are two really good signs. If you can trim the wordcount down, describe the music, and fix some of the minor spelling/grammar issues, you should be A-OK

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:16 pm 
 

Spider_X wrote:
This is one ingenious, complexity of an album!!!! (This is the title of the review)

Notes in the spoiler.
Spoiler: show
O.k., so when I had entered this album into the Archives back in early March, I was listening to it.. however in being pre-occupied with updating the information, I wasn't really 'listening' to it exactly. I really hated that I did that. (All of this is unnecessary information. Also, it was just background music at the time.

Proper paragraph formatting has only one line of space between the paragraphs.)



So, two nights ago I just happen to think of it, and listen to it uninterrupted, and completely. I wasn't really quite sure what I was listening to, and I do not mean that in a bad way. The complexity of this album is very intense, and as I was listening, it actually made me think. When was the last time I listened to an album that did that? I can't think of one.. (This is depressing. Don't waste your time on shit music. The fact that this made you think is worth including. The fact that you hardly ever listen to music that makes you think isn't. Rephrase all of this for clarity.)


With this album, Vladimyr obviously wanted to take his music into a much more profound direction. (Than what? We need comparison) And, in doing so, you can really tell exactly just what he was wanting to accomplish with Return of the Dragon-Ant. I did not know this at the time, when I had entered in the album onto the Archives, but it's solely him on this new album, and when I was told this by Vladimyr himself the other evening when I had some questions about it, I was truly astounded! It is so good that you really can't tell.. :nazi: I really had no idea. (This conversational style is unnecessarily confusing. Get to the point more directly.)


So, about Return of the Dragon-Ant, again like I had mentioned this album really made me think upon actually listening to the whole album. (Avoid being redundant. Proofread.) Vladimyr's style of black metal (What does that mean? What's his style?) is still present throughout the album, in a few of the songs (but, not as completely all black metal, though) (What? I don't follow). But, I certianly wasn't expecting the nice surprize of hearing excessive, deep-style gutteral growl, but then the smooth blending in of cold black metal vocals........ but :nazi: (Please don't do this. I don't know why people do this), then, this album has so much melody to it, how he'll go from death metal singing then go really low with the range......... but :nazi:, then blend in just a bit of melody to the sound. Key points to this album, are definitely his unique range of singing ability, the guitar work on here is exceptionally sensational!!!! On the tracks "Death Experiment" and "Bloodspree", you can really get the feel of everything, in what I'm trying to desribe............... the vocal :nazi: melodies are just so riveting!!!!! I also really have to mention "Broken Seal", very slow, you can (Punctuation) almost feel a sense of pain of emotion when listening to it. This is probably the most powerful song on the entire album. I am actually so touched when I listen to this one.


But, basically, the whole album is just a serious delight to listen to. I feel I need to point out the last song "Hostile Apocalypse", here. Now, I have listened to this album quite a few times already (am also listening to it now, as I write this) (Do you need to include this?); but "Hostile Apocalypse", this is the one I keep on hitting the repeat button back to at the album's end. Absolute master at the keyboard, wasn't :nazi: really expecting a song like this to be on an album like this; however I am really glad that it is on here, because it has become my favorite!


As I love the entire album, two of the tracks just stand out to me, because they both seriously pull at my emotions and I feel like I am pulled into the songs when I am listening to, because I can honestly feel it. :nazi: Those two tracks would be, "Broken Seal" and "Hostile Apocalypse". (Sometimes, I also finding myself hitting repeat with "Broken Seal", just for the sheer passion of it alone; because it is just so damn beautiful.) (Repetitive)

If you thrive off both a mixture of death and black metal, but want something extremely different than what's all out there, I strongly suggest checking this album out. Truly, in all honesty it is a masterpiece!


(This is a first draft, a collection of general impressions and personal notes. Rework the entire piece. Formatting, grammar, and clarity all need attention. Make your points clearly.

Those strings of periods are pointless and, from a writing tutor's perspective, unnerving with a hint of the suggestion of public education's impending collapse. Follow the rules of basic English composition. Tanuki has pointed out the general things you can do, and clearly doesn't want to spook you with criticism. Allow me to be somewhat more sobering. I want to emphasize that there are significant compositional errors here. This is not just about making a review acceptable for a site. These are basic life skills that need attention. Eventually, you'll have to write a cover letter for a job, and attention to these fundamental details are vital. Bad habits die hard. Kill them now.

edit: I also want to include that this even more disturbing and confusing considering that your age is reported as 45. If you have a learning disability or a language barrier, do let us know, since the feedback we give you can be tailored in that direction. If not, then this is a perfect place to practice these basic skills.)

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Spider_X
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:48 pm
Posts: 119
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:03 am 
 

Sorry about my late reply back. I did read this the day it was written, but because of the (edited response) was unsure of how to respond, I needed time to think. So, I left until I could think of what was best to say.

First of all, I guess my last response was overlooked(?) "If, when I revise it, and (if) it by chance still gets rejected I will post it here again for further help. But, if I can have one successful review, I am sure I can get this one done"

Because, even though I appreciate that you (Grave_Wyrm) going through the effort of correcting my first run, I had actually already had done another revision and Diamhea had already read it, because I had messaged him. I apologise for any miscommunication on my part. Either way, it still failed (my second attempt).

Over a month ago, I was thrilled after being a member for over 10 years and deciding to try my hand at reviews, to do one with Asylum, and it getting accepted without any trouble, I was so happy, and Asylum was actually so thrilled! I tried again with Morbid Angel...... failed instantly, was deemed too personal a review, did not know how to make it non-personal so I scrapped it, didn't make a big deal of that one. With this one, with Tanuki's suggestions I did realise I was making quite a bit of errors that I had not noticed. However, even after still revising it, it still wasn't right, and with my high anxiety levels (+bipolar) this is really just a bit too much for what should be for just a (simple?) review? To answer your questions, I do not have a learning disability, nor a language barrier, only have ever spoken English I know no other language, I do not mean for that to be disturbing :( Maybe it is due to my bipolar/anxiety? I do not know? But, it is weird that I can have one successful review and fail miserably at others I try at.. But, I think maybe I should just be content for the one that I do have successful :)

I do honestly appreciate all of your help though, I do mean that :) but, I think with my stress level, I probably shouldn't be doing these..??
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MatsBG
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Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:02 am
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:43 am 
 

Hi! I would love to recieve some feedback on my review of the latest Hellwell release.
I tried to describe the music as best I could, but perhaps I have spent too much time comparing the release to that of Manilla Road's discography?
And does the rating reflect the review accurately?
Any feedback is of course welcome.

Spoiler: show
HELLWELL – BEHIND THE DEMON’S EYES (2017)
Rating: 87%

Themes centred around the concept of horror have always played a huge part in heavy metal music, all the way back to the first notes heard on Black Sabbath’s self-titled track. Delving deeper into the horror theme also opens up the likes of the romanticizing gothic horror, the existential dread of cosmic horror, as well as the graphic imagery of gore and body horror. Taking all these varying themes and setting them within a musical context is exactly what Hellwell is all about, and if the cover artwork is any indication at all, they do it good too. The band itself though feels birthed out of an overabundance of ideas and inspiration extending an already established sound rather than standing on its own, and when one takes a glance over the names of the people involved, it comes as no surprise. The band is the brainchild of the cult metal band Manilla Road’s main-man Mark Shelton, and his trademark sound is all over the record as he handles both guitar-duty and vocals as well as serving as the main songwriter. But despite Shelton’s obvious leadership, the band actually borrows its name from author/musician E. C. Hellwell and it’s his heavy presence in the form of keyboard and synth that serves as the biggest distinction between Hellwell and Shelton’s main-band Manilla Road. And despite the accusations of the band being merely “Manilla Road with organs”, it’s the music itself that provides the merits it should be judged by. But does Behind the Demon’s Eyes hold up, or does it all feel like a second-rate Manilla Road album?

As previously mentioned, the sound of Hellwell is closely linked to that of Manilla Road, but despite that Behind the Demon’s Eyes was released closer to the vanilla and, dare I say, boring Manilla Road albums of the 2010s, the music actually sounds closer to the classic albums of the late 80s and early 90s, especially the horror themed Out of the Abyss from 1988. And to make the ties to this sound even stronger, Shelton has recruited the help of classic Manilla Road drummer Randy “Thrasher” Foxe, and his frantic and chaotic playing fits right in with the mixture of thrashing riffs and the classic horror organ sound.

The album opens with the straight thrasher Lightwave, showcasing all three players right away, with Shelton’s “epic thrash” riffing, Foxe’s intense drumming, and E. C. Hellwell’s atmospheric organ. Lightwave is a great opener both in terms of its context within the album and in terms of the music itself, as it gets the blood pumping straight away with no fluff build-up, and has a catchy take on a quasi-death metal sound where Shelton belts out some of his deepest growls. The next track, Necromantio, ups the complexity of the music, but because of this, the first half of the track feels almost too chaotic and rushed when compared to the straightforwardness of Lightwave. But around the half-way mark the song shifts gear into the epic territory that everyone familiar with Shelton should recognize, and it is simply stunning. A build-up that just keeps on building and finally explodes into a heartfelt and majestic guitar solo that utilizes every instrument to its fullest. This section takes the grandeur of soaring guitar melodies and pairs it with the controlled chaos of the drums and the complementing notes of the organ. It is truly a highlight within the album, and maybe even in the genre as a whole.

Later on the album, we find the track It’s Alive, of course a nod to Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein, which further encompasses the feel of earlier Manilla Road albums. With a (mostly) clean vocal delivery by Shelton and a much bigger focus on the epic scale of music rather than the down-to-earth thrashing found earlier, this track sounds straight from the 80s. But despite being the closest track this album has to offer in the vein of Manilla Road’s style, the song is absolutely a highlight. A driving rhythm, lead on by the always steady Foxe, coupled with the organ, here sharing the spotlight with Shelton’s mesmerizing vocal-lines, creates a fun, atmospheric and maybe even nostalgic metal song. Certainly one of the album’s most memorable tracks.

Behind the Demon’s Eyes is also packed with a couple of epic tracks, where the centrepiece, To Serve Man, tells a story akin to that found on the album’s cover sleeve. To Serve Man, with its snail-paced doom laden riffs, is a welcome change after the thrashing and upbeat two-punch openers and sees the vocals alternating between a demonic growl in the verse and a clean and entrancing performance in the chorus. The song also provides a catchy solo before the whole track stops in the wake of a three-minute-long organ solo. The solo builds atmosphere, that’s for sure, but it feels way too long and would have benefitted greatly from being cut down to maybe just one minute. The song then evolves into a thrash-fest, keeping up the complexity, before again shifting into a tempo more akin to the tracks first part. Thankfully, all the parts complement each other and they all fit together seamlessly, preventing the song from getting boring or relying too much on one idea. The only gripe is the previously mentioned organ solo that drags on far too long. The second epic though, the closer The Last Rites of Edward Hawthorn, could be described as the magnum opus of the release. A mournful and touching piano opens the track in excellent fashion, building a perfect momentum for the grim love story that is to be told. An acoustic guitar carries the song’s lamenting intro into a “light at the end of the tunnel” vibe, with an optimistic and hopeful atmosphere. But then, parallel with the lyrics, the song takes a dark turn. An ominous riff complemented by an equally terrifying organ escalates The Last Rites of Edward Hawthorn into a technical and headbanging metal feast. The song ends on the same piano that opened the track, and serves as both the track and the albums perfect ending.

Behind the Demon’s Eyes is certainly an accomplishment within the realms of underground metal, but a perfect record it is not. For example, the track The Galaxy Being, here serving as the weakest link, lacks both a defining flair and a truly memorable moment. But despite this, the track in itself is by no means bad. The instrumentation is among the album’s finest and the cheesy intro (and outro) consisting of a cheesy 1950s theremin fits the sci-fi theme perfectly, but the song is sadly easily forgotten among the rest of the album’s cuts.

As with the production, if you know Manilla Road, and if you know Mark Shelton, you already know what to expect. Charming, yet amateurish and without any form of polish. But in the context of Behind the Demon’s Eyes, the production actually feels quite fitting, with a murky and turbid soundscape backing up the dark subject matters. The cover artwork also deserves a special mention. It is painted by the extremely talented Paolo Girardi and is one of the most striking pieces I have ever seen, completely understanding the sound of the album while also maintaining a perfect and eye-catching motif.

All in all, Hellwell’s Behind the Demon’s Eyes stands as a testament to Shelton’s almost divine ability to never run out of ideas, even though the later years have seen him more or less build on his existing legacy rather than creating something entirely new. This is also where this album comes in, as it may not be the defining moment of memorability as it takes a lot of cues from Shelton’s main-band Manilla Road, but it doesn’t really need to be all that different either. By taking the epic nature of Manilla Road and fusing it with a prominent use of organs and a sound purely dedicated to all things horror, it strikes gold. From the thrashing complexity of tracks such as Lightwave and Necromantio, to the epic nature of tracks such as It’s Alive and The Last Rites of Edward Hawthorn, Hellwell have created a niche within a niche that does almost everything right. The album is highly recommended and even produces music far more compelling and complete than that found on Manilla Road’s post 2010 albums.

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:20 am 
 

Spider_X wrote:
I do honestly appreciate all of your help though, I do mean that :) but, I think with my stress level, I probably shouldn't be doing these..??

I don't know about that. Just write normally, like you would under reasonably professional circumstances. It's pretty basic stuff, which I'm sure you know by now. Over thinking it will increase your stress, so just stick to the basics. English composition is pretty easy, it's just a matter of technical rules. I'll bear your situation in mind when you write things. Don't give up. If you're interested, we're here to help. It takes practice, and this is a safe place to do it. It's not a pandering place, though, but I doubt you'd even want that in the first place. Just do things you basically feel proud of, don't worry about impressing anyone. Cover the basics and we'll take it from there. We can totally work together on this. Don't stress, just apply yourself.

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Spider_X
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:48 pm
Posts: 119
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:54 am 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
Spider_X wrote:
I do honestly appreciate all of your help though, I do mean that :) but, I think with my stress level, I probably shouldn't be doing these..??

I don't know about that. Just write normally, like you would under reasonably professional circumstances. It's pretty basic stuff, which I'm sure you know by now. Over thinking it will increase your stress, so just stick to the basics. English composition is pretty easy, it's just a matter of technical rules. I'll bear your situation in mind when you write things. Don't give up. If you're interested, we're here to help. It takes practice, and this is a safe place to do it. It's not a pandering place, though, but I doubt you'd even want that in the first place. Just do things you basically feel proud of, don't worry about impressing anyone. Cover the basics and we'll take it from there. We can totally work together on this. Don't stress, just apply yourself.


This is probably my problem, I do "over think" alot! Well, if you're not going to give up on me, I shouldn't give up on myself, either :) So, I will try to do this! Give me a couple of days to really think about how to rewrite this, then after I do, I will post it, and I guess when you have the time, you can read it and I guess we'll take it from there? Part of my problem as in dealing with my anxiety is when I really love something, I am probably too overtly expressive about it. I don't mean to be that way, it just happens.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:46 pm 
 

Honestly, overexpression will not be a problem here in the Workshop. It's much easier to vomit out everything and then edit it down. Take your time. This is a place where you should, ultimately, just be yourself.

Use this as practice in managing anxiety. As an external point of reference, remember that the stakes are really, really low. Whatever amount of personal investment you put into any given project is up to you. Work on it gradually. There's nothing to prove here. We provide a chance to explore independent thinking and build the self-confidence that comes with gradual improvement.

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MetalCuresHeadaches
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:35 pm
Posts: 871
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:36 am 
 

I'm looking to start contributing more reviews. I have a review that's already accepted, but I'm just looking for some general feedback to help hone my output. Any feedback is appreciated.
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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 568
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:22 am 
 

MetalCuresHeadaches wrote:
I'm looking to start contributing more reviews. I have a review that's already accepted, but I'm just looking for some general feedback to help hone my output. Any feedback is appreciated.


To be honest, that seems like a good review given the material you were working with. It adequately summarises the music without adding unnecessary detail and it provides a personal perspective without being entirely subjective.

My only suggestion would be to find a release that doesn't suck to review! Keep it up.

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Spider_X
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:48 pm
Posts: 119
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:17 am 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
Honestly, overexpression will not be a problem here in the Workshop. It's much easier to vomit out everything and then edit it down. Take your time. This is a place where you should, ultimately, just be yourself.

Use this as practice in managing anxiety. As an external point of reference, remember that the stakes are really, really low. Whatever amount of personal investment you put into any given project is up to you. Work on it gradually. There's nothing to prove here. We provide a chance to explore independent thinking and build the self-confidence that comes with gradual improvement.

I have been busy the past few days, I am actually about to start working on this now. Hopefully, I can make some changes that will make a difference :) I will post here first for you to proofread (Grave_Wyrm), instead of me just submitting it; I will wait and do that when you give the go-ahead that it's 100% acceptable. I should have this posted here, within a few hours. And, thank you so much again for you taking the time to want to help me; that really means alot.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:38 pm 
 

You're welcome! That's why this thread was created.

For the record, I'm not a moderator, just a conscious citizen. While I have a pretty good idea of what makes an acceptable review, only listen to a moderator about whether work is site-ready. I look forward to reading it and offering my thoughts, nonetheless.

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MATTDEATH45
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:55 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Brazil
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:09 am 
 

hey guys this is my first review, im doing it for the album a celebration of guilt from arsis, and i wish i could have some feedback so i can work on whatever is wrong (if there is). thank you very much!


Okay, now I have to say that I took a couple of days to realise what was in front of me. And is already worth mention that Arsis can't be entitled a melodic death metal band, because they have a much elaborate structure in their songs, specially in the instrumental aspect. So anyone could easily qualify them as technical melodic death metal. One of the several new categories that keep emerging in the trends of metal in the 20th century, created from the melodic death metal as we know (At the Gates, In Flames old school) combined with the instrumental technique of bands like Decapitated and Psycroptic. We got besides Arsis, such good bands that support the style like: Allegaeon, Bloodshot dawn and Quo vadis.


This album is complex. It's technical and got well thinking music for headbangers that likes serious work and unique stuff. It's not just the same brutal shit or that melodic death metal sound with no identidy at all. This cd passes to the listener an orchestra of death metal in every song. Especially the ones who have this quality in exaltation, like the "Wholly Night" and "Madenning Dismain". In fact, this cd gets the metalhead's attention for that matter: he is completly unique. The drums, the vocals, the guitar, everything.


James Malone is one of the most eloquent and revolutionary guitarists I've ever heard in death metal, that's a fact. The guy is a monster, playing and developing a amount of unique and intricated riffs (and not to mention the monstrous solos), while developing an extremely difficult vocal, a total singular one that acutes to melodic death, but with a more dark and morbid touch, not taking influences of the typical american screamo (like a lot of melodic death bands that come to USA does).


Only a genius can work like that, in such a complex way and at the same time without sounding monotonous. The drums is at the same level of james Malone's guitar. They're insane and professional, leading to Michael Van Dyne a prestigious name for any band that wants an outstanding drummer. Memorable could be easily his other name, because the drums work not only in being complex and to mark the tempo, but participates as any other instrument, almost creating melodies with the music.


The lyrics and all songs are markable, with its unique moments which transform them into a work of punishing and fine art. The opening track "The Face of My Innocence" its an anthem to the band and opens the album in no better way. Showing right in your face what Arsis is about. Then we have just great songs in their own ways (somethig that a fuckin loadsome of death metal and melodic death metal musicians fail to do in their albums). We got "Maddening Dismain", "Seven Whispers Fell Silent", "Return" and a lot of other songs that do the exact same thing that "Maddening Dismain" does: combine the melody and the brutality with perfection, giving the strenght and the air that the songs need to keep going strong. Taking just "Worship Depraved" (but that is just in my opinion) all the others songs are classics. And in my opinion again, "Wholly Night" is just a fuckin tremendous masterpiece of melodic death metal, the best song in the album. The chorus is something beatiful and at the same time, doesn't make the song soft or "easy". On the contrary: keeps the song going strong like fuckin metal should be.


Its how I mentioned: its a little bit complex, but if the thing gets you, youre going to have another favourite band on your list. Its a shame that these guys couldn't developed the same material in other albums, but with "A Celebration Of Guilt" Arsis put their names on the wall for sure. Its melodic death metal in that way: melodic, AND death. Its original, its different, its music for headbanger's ears. That's it.

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TrooperEd
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2004 6:18 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:44 pm 
 

Markable? Don't you mean remarkable? Or perhaps marketable?
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:16 pm 
 

What is "a fuckin loadsome"?

The English is pretty choppy and the descriptions are thin. The general flow of it is reasonably cohesive, but the fragment sentences really get to me. Proofread your grammar.


MATTDEATH45 wrote:
One of the several new categories that keep emerging in the trends of metal in the 20th century, created from the melodic death metal as we know (At the Gates, In Flames old school) combined with the instrumental technique of bands like Decapitated and Psycroptic.

The drums, the vocals, the guitar, everything.

Showing right in your face what Arsis is about.


These are fragment sentences.


MATTDEATH45 wrote:
The guy is a monster, playing and developing a amount of unique and intricated riffs (and not to mention the monstrous solos), while developing an extremely difficult vocal, a total singular one that acutes to melodic death, but with a more dark and morbid touch, not taking influences of the typical american screamo (like a lot of melodic death bands that come to USA does).

This is a run-on sentence.


MATTDEATH45 wrote:
Taking just "Worship Depraved" (but that is just in my opinion) all the others songs are classics.

This is a confusing sentence.

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Spider_X
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:48 pm
Posts: 119
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 8:46 am 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
You're welcome! That's why this thread was created.

For the record, I'm not a moderator, just a conscious citizen. While I have a pretty good idea of what makes an acceptable review, only listen to a moderator about whether work is site-ready. I look forward to reading it and offering my thoughts, nonetheless.

Thanks! Just so you don't think I've just up and left my review just sitting here ;) just got alot of stuff going on, and then also I am thinking about just (honestly) scrapping this one, and maybe starting all over? I say this, because everytime I try to rewrite from what I'm looking at, I'm kind of getting a bit frustrated, because I can't get it to make sense.

I think I really just need a fresh start. I (DO) want to do this.. but, this may take me a little longer than I was thinking.. this is really weird, I know I have mentioned before, but my first one, the Asylum one, that one came so easy! This one seems to be a bit more complex, and I can't seem to figure out why? Anyway.....

Thank you for you patience Grave_Wyrm, I am looking forward to you reading it! Maybe, by the weekend I can get this rewritten.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 9:56 am 
 

Spider_X wrote:
Thank you for you patience Grave_Wyrm, I am looking forward to you reading it! Maybe, by the weekend I can get this rewritten.

No sweat. This is a relatively new hobby, so it will naturally take some time to get into the flow. If you aren't feeling particularly inspired by your subject, feel free to come back to it and write about something different in the meantime. A good life goal in general is to not do much of anything that feels like a waste of your time.

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Corpus47
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:12 pm
Posts: 7
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 4:42 am 
 

This is my fourth review, but the first that's been rejected. I'm on my third iteration now. I think I addressed a lot of the concerns the moderator had about the first draft, so the second rejection indicated that the draft was "Nearly there." I'd like to avoid wasting any more of the moderators' time by seeing if I can hammer out the last remaining request for change here.

Info that might be important:
Band: Adastreia
Album: That Which Lies Within
My Rating: 45% (if that matters)

Here is the review the moderator responded to (my 2nd review overall):
Spoiler: show
I'm not sure exactly what Adastreia did when it put <i>That Which Lies Within</i> together, but whatever it was, it didn’t work. Generally speaking, the songs are disjointed and disorganized. The instruments don't seem to be in the same key as the vocals, and the vocals seem to be going for a different style of metal than the instruments. The music lurches forward in fits and starts, rolling seemingly at random from thudding heavily, to keyboarding soaringly, to strumming off-tempo-but-speedily, and so forth. And none of this is in a way that might seem interesting or that might imply that the band did any of it on purpose. Although the songs do seem to get <u>a little</u> better as the album goes along, most of them just go on for way too long. Honestly, I think Adastreia was shooting for “really proggy progtastic metal,” but just didn’t know how to put the various pieces together in order to get there.

However, there is one incredible exception in the confusing mess. A glowing candle of a song that Adastreia hid under a bushel, as it were. It's hard to pinpoint what they did on "Tempest" that works so amazingly well, but failed in every other instance throughout the album. But here, at least, the vocals and the music suddenly click. The disjointed timing problems of the rest of the album aren't present here: in fact, the timing changes <u>are</u> interesting and <u>do</u> work, adding musical narrative to the lyrics. The instruments are unified and driven. The multi-octave vocals twirl effortlessly between soaring majestically to crooning seductively, adding intriguing nuance to the lyrics. Really, this is one of my favorite songs from any band, and it just sends chills down my spine every time I hear it.

Nevertheless, the album as a whole is tepid and uninspiring. And Adastreia's success on "Tempest" does nothing more than demonstrate that <i>That Which Lies Within</i> could have been a lot better.


Here is the moderator's instruction on remand:
Spoiler: show
Nearly there - but very little description of the music.


And here is what I have so far in the way of changes.
Spoiler: show
I'm not sure exactly what Adastreia did when it put <i>That Which Lies Within</i> together, but whatever it was, it didn’t work.

Charitably speaking, the album is a mish-mash of crunchy/grindy, galloping guitars and occasional, dramatic synth progressions, backed by largely drowned out drums. There are a lot of changes of pace…I mean, a ton. And (now-discharged) vocalist Alexandra Martin really belts out operatic, soaring vocals with a lot of passion and effort. But the songs are disjointed and disorganized. The instruments often don't seem to be in the same key as the vocals, and the vocals seem to be going in a different stylistic direction than the instruments. The songs lurch forward in fits and starts, rolling seemingly at random from thudding heavily, to keyboarding soaringly, to strumming off-tempo-but-speedily, and so forth. And none of this is in a way that might seem interesting or that might imply that the band did any of it on purpose. Although the songs do seem to get <u>a little</u> better as the album goes along, most of them just go on for way too long. Honestly, I think Adastreia was shooting for “really proggy progtastic metal,” but just didn’t know how to put the various pieces together in order to get there.

However, there is one incredible exception in the confusing mess. A glowing candle of a song that Adastreia hid under a bushel, as it were. It's hard to pinpoint what they did on "Tempest" that works so amazingly well, but failed in every other instance throughout the album. But here, at least, the vocals and the music suddenly click. The disjointed timing problems of the rest of the album aren't present here: in fact, the timing changes <u>are</u> interesting and <u>do</u> work, adding musical narrative to the lyrics. The instruments are unified and driven. The multi-octave vocals twirl effortlessly between soaring majestically to crooning seductively, adding intriguing nuance to the lyrics. Really, this is one of my favorite songs from any band, and it just sends chills down my spine every time I hear it.

Nevertheless, the album as a whole is tepid and uninspiring. And Adastreia's success on "Tempest" does nothing more than demonstrate that <i>That Which Lies Within</i> could have been a lot better.


Any feedback would be appreciated.

Edit note: I see that the tags don't display in spoilers. Hopefully that's not too distracting.

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