|Review: Nucleus Torn - Knell|
Label: Prophecy Productions
Year released: 2008
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: March 22, 2008
Reviewed by: Pagan Shadow
Rated 2.5/5 (50%) (2 Votes)
When I first listened to this album, the female vocals hit me; the voice of Maria was so similar to the lady singing in Poland's Lux Occulta. Nucleus Torn hails from Switzerland and is the vision of multi-instrumentalist Fredy Schnyder. This gentleman almost single-handedly takes care of the musical side by playing a wide array of instruments: grand piano, guitars, organ, bass, dulcimer, recorder, bouzouki and percussions. The ensemble is made of dual vocalists Maria D'Alessandro and Patrick Schaad, Christine Schüpbach-Kaser (violin), Rebecca Hagman on cello, Anouk Hiedl on German flute and drummer Christoph Steiner.
Comparisons in style can also be made with White Willow and vintage King Crimson. The first one for having female vocals and compositions with calm/ambient intros developing into much heavier modes; the other for melting together contrasting organic instruments and ambiance with intense and heavier parts. Those aspects are much present throughout this excellent opus. Many acoustic guitar passages are included, to my selfish pleasure. They bring a somber melodic touch to the compositions. Many long lasting musical interludes create harmonious atmospheres between the more intense and crushing moments brought by strong and distorted guitars, loud bass lines and kicking percussions. The male vocals are perhaps a bit too clean for my own taste; similar to but not as annoying as James Labrie's. There stop the complaints about Knell since all the music on this release is simply excellent progressive and heavily relying on varied emotional tones, all created by intelligent and mature songwriting.
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