|Review: For Ruin - December|
Label: Sentinel Records
Year released: 2007
Review online: July 25, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 4/5 (80%) (2 Votes)
First full-length for this Irish band, December is a little difficult to categorize. Harsh vocals are used throughout the album, a kind of mix between Death and Black vocals, rather low in the mix, which results in a whispered effect. The music however has very little to do with either Black or Death Metal, sounding more like a mix of Heavy, Power and Thrash, although there are a few passages in there that border on Black Metal, the very old school kind that's quite close to Thrash. While this sounds a little upbeat on the surface, the atmosphere feels much darker, if not melancholic at times. Basically you've got some "happy" guitar melodies taking the front row, but what's behind is mostly rather dark-sounding. On the first few listens I almost missed some of this (let's just say the production could be better), but the music hidden back there is sometimes quite intricate, with some really cool raw guitar parts — there's a lot going on guitar-wise - that would certainly gain from a better production.
This band would probably gain from the use of a different vocal style, since the music is mostly some raw Heavy/Thrash that could probably fit well with some good Thrash vocals - but then again, it's hard to say. Sure thing is, some people who might like this music may pass because of the vocal style. It does work however, as the low whispers do add something to this dark and gloomy atmosphere without overshadowing the instruments (the production does a good job of screwing them to some extent anyway.) An album that definitely requires a few attentive listens in order to grasp all that's going on musically, but it's worth the effort. Another band to keep an eye on.
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