Garden of Shadows - _Heart of the Corona_
(X-Rated Records, 1998)
by: Nuno Almeida (8 out of 10)
Very interesting debut from this North American band. _Heart of the Corona_ was originally released as a demo in the Spring of 1997, but due to the recent signing of a contract with X-Rated Records, the band decided to re-release it as an MCD with re-mastered sound and an extra track, "Shards of the Here". Garden of Shadows play a very melodic, atmospheric, melancholic kind of mid to fast-paced death metal. The use of keyboards helps the overall emotional and melancholic atmosphere of the album, although they get quite pompous and symphonic at times. Guitars are very, very melodic, and are easily the main feature of their music. There are also some acoustic guitar parts, usually used as intro/outro on some songs. As for vocals, Chad is a growler, so you know what to expect; still, his vocals fit the music quite nicely. Guitarist Mary helps with some very nice ethereal vocals on "Apollonian Realm", which is, along with the title track, the best song of the album. A good opening act from Garden of Shadows, which in my opinion is worth checking out. One more thing: although this album is sold as an MCD, it's actually almost 40 minutes long. (Also reviewed in Ancient Ceremonies #3 --

Contact: X-Rated Records, c/o Mathias Kietzmann, P.O. Box 1-2023,

(article published 19/5/1999)

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