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Blackthorn : Codex Archaos : Metal albums reviews

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Blackthorn : Codex Archaos, brief review


Blackthorn : Codex Archaos

Band name: Blackthorn

Blackthorn's style seems to have changed a little between Gossamer Witchcraft and Codex Archaos. There's no doubt that they're still more metal-orientated than the stereotypical gothic metal band, but there are a lot of elements that have crept into the production of Codex Archaos that weren't in the band previously.

The main addition to the band is the inclusion of a violinist. Whereas before the band was reliant solely on the keyboards and the guitars, the violin now adds another level to their music and provides a third way for the band to play around with odd melodies. The keyboards continue to tinker away, but the violin really ushers those parts away from the spotlight. In a way that's a little sad because they were very nice on Gossamer Witchcraft, but as a whole that's probably for the best. As for the guitars, they've dropped to being not much more than a structure to hold the band up, and although there are brief moments where they get a solo or a random hook to drive the band forward, for the most part they're just background noise. Forceful and somewhat engaging background noise, but they're not the main focus.

What else has changed? The band seems to have taken on more of a gothic/death approach than the symphonic/gothic they were playing before. This time the vocals are split roughly evenly between the cleans (which aren't just operatic this time) and the death growls that I'd expected to hear the first time I listened to the band. In all honesty I'm glad they did this, because it's more original and the band the suits the unusual blend of elements that they're using here. The album also seems darker and more haunting than the last one, a quality that I tend to enjoy in gothic albums and that's no different here.

And I'm glad to report that this time the drumming isn't as annoying as before. It retains it's technical aspects like it did before and is very entertaining, but this time it doesn't seem to have a weird distortion on it. The band also seems to have noticed their mistake on Gossamer Witchcraft and the drumming is not as forefront as before. Thank goodness for that.

Make no mistake, this is an improvement from a band that had already impressed me immensely. Blackthorn seem very promising and I can't wait to hear what they come up with next if it's as enjoyable as their previous two releases have been.



Album: Codex Archaos, review

The bands country origin: Russian Federation

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