A band where another review inspired me to check it out so paying it forward. These guys used to be more of a metal band than they are now, though if we are talking about perhaps late 70s metal then this would still count. They are about as heavy as Deep Purple. The melodic vocals work well. There is also something darker than your standard retro retro metal, almost reminds me of Beastmilk. Which is a huge compliment as they were one of my favorite bands. With "There is No Freedom but the End" there is a cool tension to the verses . The chorus at first seems too happy for me, but it grows on me and when compared to the rest of the album is far from the happiest moment. ..
The happiness is kept at bay for another song with the more brooding throb of "Where You Go You'll Bring Nothing", though the chorus once again is brighter than what I typically prefer. It reminds me of perhaps some of the more folk influenced moments of Borknagar in terms of melody. *The Shovel and the Cross" has a bounce it it\s rock infused. The lyrics are darker than the music which I can appreciate. Metal is in this band's DNA despite the fact they ride the border of rock and metal. The way the riffs sit are often more metal in execution than intent. Sometimes they remind me of what a post-punk version of Uriah Heap might sound like. When the double bass kicks in they are heading in a more metallic direction.
Things get more melodic on "This Apocalypse is For You" . The more tempo the song is the less the vocals feel like they are holding as much purpose. This is the first song that feels a little more like filler. There is a more proggy frolic going into "All Chains Rust. All Men Die" . The verse darkens and then the chorus brightens . This is a dynamic , though I am not sure about how happy it is for me. In casual listening typing this up it is fine , but not sure this is something I will listen to when I am out and about. This song kind of loses me mid way into it. It is certainly more happy than what I think should come out of Norway, though I can hear where band like Shining or Leporus might have common ground. I prefer when they dip into the darker riffs of "the Fucking Violence of Love" which is still much happier than the title might suggest. Two minutes in things brighten a little but I can still deal with it.
The thankfully close the album in a more aggressive manner. The keyboard tone shifts. They still have the progressive rock tone to their sound. The riffs might be the most hooky and more along the lines of Yes meets Muse. I will give this album a 9, due to the happiness that sometimes makes me less invested. They are great players and songwriters with a ton of potential they just need to get depressed or addicted to drugs.