Silent Stream of Godless Elegy - _Behind the Shadows_
(M.A.B. Records / Redblack, 1998)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
Now here's an album that turned out to be a bit different from what I expected, but nonetheless very interesting. I had heard that this Czech band played doom/death and used both a violin and a cello in their music -- hence my interest. As it turns out, a few tracks are indeed doomy, but the album is often a mid-paced form of folkish metal -- and quite good at it, too. The cello and violin really shine through, together with plenty of catchy riffs and choruses. Check out "Wizard" and "Garden", the first couple of tracks, and also some of "The Last Place"; "Old Women's Dance" could also be an example, but its rather terrible chorus ruins it. There are also a few folkish, mostly instrumental tracks, sometimes featuring very nice female vocals, which start showing up on the seventh track and turn out to be quite important during the second half of the album. Some doomier material appears in a darker version of "Old Women's Dance" (track 6), "Ghost" and "Shadow", among several other passages. Two Dead Can Dance and one The Byrds covers are also to be found. The male vocal performance isn't great, however; it ranges from low death grunts to clean vocals (with several stages between the two), but the cleaner vox are nothing special and the vocalist really has a rough time trying to speak English. Still, his voice isn't terrible either and this is a very enjoyable record.
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