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Review: The Provenance - Still at Arms Length
The Provenance
Still at Arms Length

Label: Scarlet Records
Year released: 2002
Duration: 50:07
Tracks: 8
Genre: Gothic Metal


Review online: February 25, 2003
Reviewed by: Christian Renner
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (2 Votes)

I did an interview a while back with Niklas Sundin from Dark Tranquility and I remember asking him a question about what the best unknown band is from Sweden that everyone SHOULD know and he replied without hesitation The Provenance. As luck would have it I received a promo of their latest album "Still at Arms Length" and after giving this more than a few spins I can safely say he was absolutely correct with his answer.

This is one of those albums that is very difficult to put into one genre or another simply because of its wide variety and diversity. I can say however that it reminds me of what Opeth might sound like if crossed with The Gathering. There is so much going on within every song it is hard to know where to start. The first thing that hits you is the riff work which is heavy but with a excellent sense of melody. The vocals trade-off from a death metal style growl and a absolutely stunningly beautiful clean female voice provided by Emma Helstrom. The star of the album however is the overall songwriting. I referenced Opeth earlier in the review and the songwriting is where this influence really stands out. The dynamics between the heavier sections and the lighter and cleaner sections is done so well you hardly notice the change. Blending that style seamlessly is very difficult without making the song sound a bit disjointed and The Provenance have done a masterful job of pulling this off. The majority of the album has a dark and gloomy kind of sound along with a slower tempo but there a few songs that keep the album from following this path all the way through.

Overall a very good album with a lot of diversity and a little something for everyone. Fans of Anathema, The Gathering, Katatonia and Opeth will love this album. Highly Recommended.

Favorite Tracks – Carousel of Descent, At Arms Length, Climbing Ideals

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