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Review: Nicodemus - The Supernatural Omnibus
Nicodemus
www.nicodemus.us
The Supernatural Omnibus

Label: Dark Symphonies
Year released: 2003
Duration: 58:45
Tracks: 10
Genre: Gothic Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: March 27, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
for:
The Supernatural Omnibus

Rated 3.33/5 (66.67%) (3 Votes)
Review


I had never heard anything by this band before I put this CD in the player, so I had no idea what to expect, nice to be pleasantly surprised. This is the second release from Nicodemus, but their debut "Tales of the Lovelorn and Necromantic" was on their own Dark Throne Music label and was not, shall we say, widely distributed. Now on Dark Symphonies, Nicodemus can finally get their music out to a wide audience.

Categorizing this is not easy, as there is a lot going on here. Roughly this is similar to gothic death bands like Tristiana or Trail of Tears, but less experimentally weird and more dark than gloomy, if that makes sense. The primary instruments here are guitar and keyboards (mostly piano), sometimes with an almost power-metal riff approach. The songs are all mid-paced or slow, but not the insufferable slow that largely passes for doom these days. At its best moments, as on "Afterglow", "Harlot" and "Deepening", this album is both moody and catchy.

There are both clean and harsh vocals on this CD. The harsh are provided by mainman Chris Morris and are an almost black-metal rasp. One Tamar Yvonne provides the female vocals and when she gets to sing, she sounds fine, but she isn’t on the album all that much, mostly singing background stuff. Morris also sings clean, and he’s not that good. He sounds unsure and has a nasal tone that doesn’t blend well with Tamar’s, which they try to do a lot by double-tracking the vocals. It doesn’t sound good and is the worst feature of the album, though I must say it isn’t horrible, it’s just something you get used to. The production here is a bit rough. The guitars sound good, and the keys, but the drums are a little loud and the vocals are kind of muffled. But the whole does create a very dark atmosphere without the self-pity this kind of music so often wallows in. This is an album that grows on you with each listen, as each time you will hear some cool little part you missed before.

The packaging is really superb, as I have come to expect from Dark Symphonies. The cover photo is by British erotic photographer David Penprase ( www.davidpenprase.co.uk ) and the booklet has a very artful look. The lyrics are included and are pretty good, if a little overdone, (lots of "Layeth" and "Thine") very cool nonetheless.

This is a sold gothic/death release with more melody than gloom, and it shows a lot of potential. Better production and some better vocals would really give this band wings, and I’ll be looking forward to their next CD

Standouts Tracks: Afterglow, Harlot, The Lazarus Syndrome, Deepening.


Track Listing:
  1. Something in the Walls
  2. Nightfall Bares My Burden
  3. Afterglow
  4. Harlot
  5. Of Pride and Necessity
  6. The Lazarus Syndrome
  7. Within the Glow of Embers
  8. Deepening
  9. Shards of a Bitter Night Wept
  10. Benedetto Sia
Other related information on the site
Review: Vanity is a Virtue (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with Christopher Morris (Vocals/bass) on March 27, 2003 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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