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Review: Cydonia - The Dark Flower
The Dark Flower

Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 42:15
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 1/5

Review online: February 18, 2009
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers Rating
The Dark Flower

Rated 3.17/5 (63.33%) (6 Votes)

Heavy Metal has been known to produce things both beautiful and destructive, both life-affirming and just really damn cool.

I'm just saying that to remind myself that it's true, after hearing something this awful. With that said, let's dig into the spectacle of fantastically worthless garbage that is Cydonia's The Dark Flower, an album so terrible and wrong that it has been known to kill newborn infants in its proximity even without being put into any nearby CD player. An album so devoid of talent that it might as well just not exist at all. And I honestly have to wonder about that; I'm not sure this album is really supposed to exist. It is just too shitty, and it sounds kind of like something a band like Evergrey would produce if they were falling-down drunk. I cannot fathom any sentient, functioning human being finding enjoyment in music that is this directionless, fumbling and incompetent, this lacking in any semblance of actual songwriting at all. So, to keep myself sane, I have concluded that The Dark Flower was not supposed to exist, or at least, not supposed to be released. No, this was just something the band members happened to produce by accidentally pushing all of their instruments down a wishing well while the singer recited verses from ABBA's Greatest Hits and turned them into the choruses on this album. That sounds much more plausible than the concept of five normal human beings walking into a recording studio and making this on purpose.

No, of course I know that is actually true, but that's the kind of delusion this music has driven me to. Cydonia's sound is really hard to describe, being sort of an amalgamation of things that just don't make any sense together, and this isn't even as entertainingly painful as something like Unexpect, either. The clean vocals don't fit with the chugging, gruelingly constructed riffs (which don't sound like the band had any fun making them), which definitely don't fit with the weak guitar tone, which doesn't fit with the sometimes disjointed and progressive songwriting style. The songs don't seem to exist for any other purpose than reaching the chorus, which is a sure-fire sign of laziness and boredom, and also extreme ineptitude. Nothing here sounds right! It's all just so dirty and unappealing, and it just makes you feel like you need to take a shower after it stops playing. Yeah, it's one of those albums.

The riffs are probably the worst, sounding a lot of the time like the band just recorded their guitarists farting and then added distortion to it. The choruses are terrible themselves; constructed well enough, but really lacking any kind of energy or power to them, and the fact that all the songs are pretty much based around them makes it even sadder. The songwriting on here is definitely some of the worst I've heard in ages, shambling, incoherent, annoying and most of all, unmemorable. How? How can anyone derive enjoyment from this? I don't even think the band did, for that matter; this was just some kind of terrible joke. Maybe their parents never loved them or something, I don't know.

This whole album is just filled with unpleasant moment after unpleasant moment, with little being of any worth. Seriously, if all an album has is catchy choruses, it obviously is doing something terribly wrong. "Midnight Man" and the title track don't completely suck, with more restrained structures, but those are the only two slight bright spots here, and even those aren't very good or inspiring. The rest of this is just wretched all around: "Visions" has its annoying pinch harmonics, and then "One Last Crime," with its mother-of-all-that-is-unholy chugging riffs and psuedo-Thrash angry shouting on the verses, doesn't sound right at all when the clean, catchy radio pop chorus hits you. "Invisible" is a hideous song with some of the worst Power Metal chords I've ever heard, sounding incredibly random and incoherent when blended in with that Pantera-Meets-Evergrey impression these guys keep doing.

"Beyond Time" and "Another Age" both suck, and "Master Shadow" does, too...okay, it's clear the band just gave up here. They didn't have any more material, so they just decided to start aimlessly recording whatever the fuck they could think of right on the spot. The choruses, which were previously so well crafted and shamelessly pop-oriented, are now just background noise, like the rest of the album. In fact, that is what is wrong with this album; nothing jumps out at you or really tries to capture your attention, it's all just this huge, uninspiring jumble of festering, watered down puke that anyone with taste can stay away from. In fact, you can not only stay away from it, you should just drop everything and start running in the opposite direction. Fuck this dilapidated chunk of musical diarrhea.

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