Rating:
6.8
Amily - To All In Graves
12 November 2012


01. Endless Exequies
02. Fading Image of My Own
03. Renaissance Day
04. Daydreams of Peeled Wallflower
05. Under the Black Voile
06. Winds of Culmination
07. Rejected Cells
08. Forever Cold
09. To All in Graves
10. Funeral of Love


Ok, initially this band threw me for a loop. A color photo of the band's own grave adorns the album cover. To All In Graves is the title, ok, sounds like a femme fronted gothic doom outfit.
The opening instrumental sets the tone and doesn't do much to deviate from my expectations… until "Fading Image Of My Own" drops with a slow ass riff and thundering growled vocals. Great. Sometimes I love it when a release goes a direction opposite my expectations.

Oh. Wait.

Two and a half minutes in we have high pitched, semi-ethereal female vocals followed by female-spoken narrative. The track lumbers on, deviating between the death doom growls, said female vocals, and various other spoken bits, including what sounds like at one point a small child.

Well, it does defy doom expectations in the sense it has 10 songs, more than twice as many as my last Solitude Productions review, Astral Sleep, and yet clocks in significantly shorter.

Amily toss various elements all over the album, from blistering tempos (well, for doom, anyhow), to creepy spoken interludes over almost orchestral build-ups to keep things shifting to orchestral segue pieces like "Under The Black Voile". Moods can go from the beautiful to creepy to downright sinister (middle death-paced section of "Rejected Cells"), which is swell for a couple reasons. It keeps things flowing, and if you find the band playing a passage that rubs you the wrong way, well, you know they'll be changing it up soon.

At times, such as the opening to "Renaissance Day" as the distortion kicks in and moves the song in a foreboding direction, they manage to capture and evoke some emotion, however at other times things can just sound a little bit odd or cluttered - particularly in regards to whatever tone setting the keyboardist uses. So you can find yourself going from moved to off put just as quickly as the band shifts direction.

At various points I find them gripping and enjoyable, but it just seems in the overall shifting winds of the album, those moments can be far between at times.
So don't consider the final score as just a "meh" album, but rather one with some highs, some lows, and a lot in the middle.

I guess if I could narrow 400 words or so describing this release down to just two I would opt for "potential" and "inconsistent." With some focus I do not doubt they could create something that was stunning from start to finish.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Production: 8


 



Written on 03.02.2013 by
Xnoybis
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by Xnoybis ››



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Merchant of Doom - 03.02.2013 at 12:59  
Yes, a bit of a mish-mash... they are some brilliant moments, and some less brilliant. Inconsistency... but there is indeed potential. Just get rid of the bloody drum machine!
Rupert - 04.02.2013 at 06:41  
Nice review, except the album was released in 2012!

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