Dismal Euphony - _Soria Moria Slott_
(ltd. edition re-release, 1998)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
What can I write about _Soria Moria Slott_ that Steve hasn't already written in his review in CoC #15? He accurately described the quality of Dismal Euphony's music (by the way, Steve would like to mention that he'd rate _SMS_ 9 out of 10 now), but I'll add a few words of my own and proceed to describe what's new in this re-release. One of the best symphonic black metal bands I've heard so far, Dismal Euphony stand out from the black masses through their extraordinary use of keyboards, acoustics, and female vocals. Some may say keyboards and femme vox are vulgar by now; who cares, if they can (when wisely used) mean such a great enhancement of an album's melodic and atmospheric qualities? In this re-release of _SMS_, you get a new cover, an extra track, and a new mix. The new cover is a (not entirely revealing) nude picture of DE's female vocalist, Keltziva (I think), plus another picture on the other side. Keltziva and the other female band member, Elin (keyboardist), adorn some of the inner booklet pages as well. The original booklet remains unchanged beneath this new cover, which consists of a single sheet detached from the booklet. The extra track, "Fortidssjeledrepte?", fits in nicely. It starts powerfully before eventually evolving into DE's typically great melodies and some acoustics as well. Finally, the new mix essentially brings up the guitar sound, which was little more than a background buzz in the original version. This gives the album a stronger feel, and, fortunately, the melody remains intact and does not disappear beneath the increased guitar sound. However, three needless faults are to be found in the second track: there's a 5 second gap after the intro which decreases the storming start of "Et Vintereventyr" (which suddenly erupted from "Prolog" in the original version) and, 4:36 and 4:45 into the track, there are two very strange sudden sound problems that are hard to describe. Both last for less than a second, but it's still annoying, even though barely noticeable without headphones. If you already have _SMS_, whether or not you buy this new version will depend upon how much you liked it and if the poor guitar sound bothered you; if you don't have the original version, I strongly recommended this album.
(article published 1/1/1998)
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