Melissa - _In Peace...?_
(Matek Records, 1999)
by: Pedro Azevedo (5 out of 10)
Before writing this review, I visited Melissa's homepage, where they are described as a "Russian doom/death/heavy metal band". After listening to _In Peace...?_, however, I am left wondering what motivated such a description. They may be Russian, but there's not much doom besides a My Dying Bride longsleeve on one of the band members, not much death besides the usually semi-growled vocals and not that much traditional heavy metal, either. This isn't an easy album to describe, though. All the band members show considerable skill throughout the album, except for the generally rather mediocre vocals, and display a wide array of progressive and mostly non-metallic influences. At their best, during tracks like "Innocent Peace" and especially "Doncha Feel the Sky?", the consistently good playing is joined by a sense of musical direction that does make some very enjoyable material, but the rest of the album has a strong tendency to lack the second half of that combination. Besides the rather pathetic "Pizza Song" (during which Melissa get quite close to being the complete opposite of a doom/death band like their homepage described them) and the commercial-ish "Down and Fall", the rest of the album is equally well played and produced but generally not very remarkable. Melissa have enough skill, but their music still needs to become a lot more interesting.


(article published 12/10/1999)

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