Company: Century Media Release: 2008 Genre: Gothic Reviewer: Raising Iron
Not enough to push this beyond mediocre
While Poisonblack's 2006 release, Lust Stained Despair, was a revelry for those pining for their post-Sentenced fix, Ville Laihiala's latest effort, A Dead Heavy Day, somewhat wanders in its attempt to continue along this dark, slightly heavier, gothic path.
First off, the songs just don't grab you the way they did on Lust Stained Despair. It seems there is just too much filler here, and they tend to be a bit too mainstream in their construction. That said, Ville's vocals still have that lurid, breathy, ethereal feel to them which has always been one of the key attractions to this and his previous long-ran outfit, Sentenced. There are highlights to be found here, "Bear The Cross", "Me, Myself, & I", and "Human-Compost" are excellent examples of Poisonblack's visceral sound, and the mix has left plenty of room for every player to showcase his instrument without being buried. Again, plenty of keyboards augment the songs and their melodies, harmonizing with the traditional gothic riffs that are found aplenty here. "X" is a nicely done ballad, with its simple, arpeggiated chord progression accompanied by a distant church organ in parts, and slightly heavied up chorus, but these few notables are not enough to push this beyond mediocre; the whole affair just lacking vested emotion in its attempt to be funereal.
Overall, A Dead Heavy Day - which is a distressingly apt title considering the recent passing of one of Sentenced's former guitar players Miika Tenkula (at the early age of 35, no less!) – passes as merely average in its overall effect on the genre it resides in. Of course, as time passes and genres become more and more defined by "classic" albums, it gets harder and harder to compete, but these are veterans led by a veteran of the brooding gothic scene, and we know he can do better.
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