|Review: Mundanus Imperium - The Spectral Spheres Coronation|
|The Spectral Spheres Coronation|
Label: Nuclear Blast
Year released: 1998
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: September 25, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:The Spectral Spheres Coronation
Rated 4/5 (80%) (7 Votes)
I had heard this described as 'Dimmu Borgir with a clean singer', and that sounded pretty cool to me, so when I found this used I picked it up. I have to say that the description is pretty accurate, but it isn't as cool as it sounded.
The basic musical sound is a lot like Dimmu, with the hyper-busy arrangements and the background keyboards providing gayness. And the singer, Jorn Lande, does have a strong, clean vocal style – kind of a hard-rock type of voice. The idea is cool, and the musicianship and production are first rate; but the songwriting here falls painfully short. Mundanus Imperium are a band that seem highly impressed with themselves, and the labored arrangements seem self-consciously complex. The vocal lines, for the most part, seem to bear no relation to the rest of the song, and the lyrics are trying so hard to impress with their depth they are mostly pompous.
That's not to say this is horrible. As I said, the music is well-played and the sound is good. Some of the instrumental bits are cool, and the song "Stargazer" manages to create a genuine groove – something the rest of the album never manages. If you are listening to this as background music, you won't turn it off, but as primo listening, it cannot hold your attention.
The packaging is so-so, with a cover so ineptly photoshopped I am surprised Nuclear Blast let it out the door. The interior art design is very good, and the medieval sun-wheel on the disc itself is very cool.
This is an interesting disc, but not a terribly good one. Mundanus Imperium try hard, but don't have the songwriting chops to pull of what they want to do. There was a good idea for a band here, and these guys certainly had talent and a unique sound, but "The Spectral Spheres Coronation" finishes out as being almost completely unmemorable.
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