Charon - _Sorrowburn_
by: Paul Schwarz (
With a clear and powerful production backing up _Sorrowburn_, Charon are saved from the nightmare every band has when they unleash their debut: being misrepresented on disc by bad production. Once the band are in the full swing of "Wortex" they instantly bring to mind _Draconian Times_ era Paradise Lost and as the album progresses the band also gives a nod towards goth giants Type O Negative. Although these comparisons seem pretty favorable, they are also rather typical and worryingly so for Charon. Charon are a talented band and some of their songs, especially the aforementioned "Wortex", did make a good impression on me. They are also a band who, by riding on current trends, whether intentionally or coincidentally, have the potential for imminent commercial success in mainland Europe. This would be good for getting the band exposure, but might limit their longevity after this particular trend loses popularity, probably giving way under the weight of the current surge of interest in power metal. Cast all the politics and prospecting aside and look at _Sorrowburn_ in the cold light of day and you have a decent debut drawing from classic metal enough to let you know the band were into it, casting veiled shadows from their death metal past and ultimately producing a perfectly listenable, but in no way boundary-breaking or astounding, album. If you didn't want Paradise Lost to take that last step to pop stardom on _One Second_, Charon have the kind of metal tunes they should have penned waiting for you on _Sorrowburn_, sitting alongside some more original tunes of their own which aren't quite as good.
(article published 9/1/1998)
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