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Review: December's Cold Winter - Ablaze All Shrines
December's Cold Winter
Ablaze All Shrines

Label: Envenomed Records
Year released: 2008
Duration: 48:11
Tracks: 7
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: May 4, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating
Ablaze All Shrines

Rated 5/5 (100%) (1 Vote)

Welding together a myriad of influences from the Black and Death Metal spectrums, and packaging it as Melodic Death Metal is the general game plan for Ablaze All Shrines. Fortunately for some there's very little from the Gothenburg stylings of the majority of Melo-Death acts. However a few modernisms and occasional "core" parts rear their ugly face – thankfully these are few and far-between. With so much going on with their sound I'm left completely on the fence. On the one hand there are some pretty cool parts that get the blood boiling, and on the other we have some problems. A prime example being their lame attempts at Black Metal wailing that sounds way too much like your run-of-the-mill pig squealer. Vocalist Alfredo Guzman works best when he's shaking the earth with his "cookie monster" style of vocals.

The average track length is around six minutes with the longest clocking in at nine; I found that some of the best riffs and ideas these guys had to show were in the longer tracks. Prime examples being the mid-section of the quality title track or my choice cut "Manipulating Human Emotions". For a Melodic Death Metal album things can get pretty intense, the vocals remain brutal throughout never straying into clean or Anders Friden whining. The melodic side clearly comes through the guitar work – a definite high point of the album, be it dual guitar harmonies and riffs, wild tremolo riffage or sweet leads. Of course the guitars also happen to provide the biggest offending issue, as from time to time they will utilize those lame-ass core riffs (Just listen from 1:31 into "Envenomed Cult"). Overall there's some great ideas woven throughout which sadly never rise to their true potential. Most of the tracks on here offer interesting parts here and there, however they don't hold throughout which has sent my interest waning several times. Even the cool parts can't save this from being a decidedly average release. If you're looking for something a little different from the Gothenburg worship, give these guys a shot.

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