Cadaveria - "Horror Metal" (CD)
"Horror Metal" track listing:
1. Flowers in Fire
2. The Night's Theatre
3. Death Vision
4. Whispers of Sin
6. The Days of the After and Behind
8. The Oracle (Of the Fog)
10. This Is Not The Silence
11. Hypnotic Psychosis
Reviewed by Dasher10 on January 15, 2012
Being dropped by a label is hard on a band, and at that point, the only solution is to simply best oneself in a way that will win over the attention of an equal or larger label by putting out your best album ever. Unfortunately, Cadaveria hasn't done that with “Horror Metal,” and actually regressed into a simultaneously more accessible and inferior album that doesn’t play to the strengths of black metal. Instead, the band created an annoying and ultimately boring album that couldn't hold my attention at all.
A big problem that I have is with Cadaveria's clean vocals. It's not that metal as a musical style is opposed to femininity; it's that it's opposed to weakness. Keep in mind that clean lead female vocals have been used effectively by Doro Pesch and Floor Jansen, who still remain popular as solo artists after the breakups of Warlock and After Forever, respectively. That said, Cadaveria's vocals just sound weak on “Horror Metal.” Her demure voice isn't so much creepy and ethereal as much as it is anemic, and really just comes across as annoying. Cadeveria could stick to screaming and put out a straight-up black metal album that would at least be somewhat more entertaining.
There are good parts, mainly when Cadaveria decides to pick up the tempo and Cadaveria herself stops sounding like a goth version of Ke$ha. Sadly, the band didn't have the foresight to use her clean vocals as an effect instead of a feature, and frequently drop the tempo in order to accommodate Cadaveria's singing parts. It's a shame, as when the band gets into ass-kicking mode, they aren't the most original band by any means, but they're actually somewhat adequate.
So many of the riffs on “Horror Metal” are among that most generic black metal riffs that I've ever heard in my life. It's not that these are bad riffs, but it's that I've heard all of them before by countless other bands, and usually at faster tempos. They really bring nothing new to the table in a scene headed by Primordial, Enslaved and Nachtmystium, which is a shame since the band obviously has talent and has proved itself before. “Horror Metal” is a poorly-written mess of an album that isn't able to make enough of an impact or an improvement to give Cadaveria a second chance at a label deal. If the band survives this fiasco, Cadaveria really needs to make an album that absolutely demolishes the entire black metal scene, instead of staying trapped in mediocrity. There's potential, but the band simply isn’t meeting it.
While some songs like “The Night's Theatre” are somewhat listenable, it's despite Cadaveria's faults and not because of them, mostly because they found a way to make their sound work, clean vocals and all. Again, the band has potential since their previous work was indeed better. The real issues here are just a lack of ideas and a very rushed sound to the album, along with poor production. These issues are in many ways inexcusable in 2012, when a band can release a demo and still have it sound incredibly polished. Hopefully, this isn't the end, but Cadaveria is going to be facing a serious uphill struggle from here on out.
Highs: Cadaveria has the talent to sing well
Lows: Weak sounding vocals, poor songwriting, generic riffing, production that overpowers the vocals, Cadaveria needs to project her voice more
Bottom line: A step back for the band that sounds way too much like a poor man's Cradle of Filth.
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