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Mirrorthrone - "Gangrene" (CD)

Mirrorthrone - "Gangrene" CD cover image

"Gangrene" track listing:

1. Dismay
2. No One by my Side
3. The Fecal Rebellion
4. Ganglion
5. Une Existence donc plus Personne ne Jouit
6. So Frail

Reviewed by on May 3, 2009

"“Gangrene” is a robust wall-of-sound that’s strong enough to contend with other melodic/symphonic black metal that has eight people in the band."

“Gangrene” is the third release from Sweden’s one-man band Mirrorthrone. Vladimir started the band in 2000, eventually being recognized by Red Stream, Inc. The soloist plays guitar and bass, programs drums and synthesizers, and sings and growls the vocals. Also included in this album are piano, organ, harpsichord, violin, and layers and layers of vocals. “Gangrene” is a robust wall-of-sound that’s strong enough to contend with other melodic/symphonic black metal that has eight people in the band.

“Gangrene” starts most of it’s songs with delicate piano pieces backed by atmospheric synths, sometimes with a grainy effect to age it. The eerie peace is shattered by sonically fast drums and scaling guitars. A squealing, screeching noise is next, coming from the throat of Vladimir (who else?) who has the amazing ability to change his voice from screech to growl to clean to choir. The vocals are not safe from the computer as the lyrics are sped up at times to include every word of what Vlad wants to say. The vocals are also layered on top of each other at the beginning and end of lines to save some precious word-time. But the music Mirrorthrone created more than makes up for the rapid lyrics.

The guitar work is not particularly impressive, but give the guy a break, as he does it all by himself. The guitars scale and arpeggio for their riffs, never becoming too technical. The synths are quite obviously computer-generated with no regret. But the sound never bores. It is ever changing instruments and tempo. It must be difficult to keep up people’s interests during six songs that last for over and hour, but Mirrorthrone pulls it off. The music switches from heavy to classical piano instantly, which keeps you listening to see what he’s going to play next. And trust me, when Vladimir says “gangrene,” it makes you feel nauseous. The album is entertaining throughout and not bad for a one-man band.

Highs: There's not a second of unused time. Very full-sounding.

Lows: The synths were obviously computer-generated.

Bottom line: A very rich musical experience if you don't mind some computer-generated instrumentaion. Hell, he's only one man!

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)