Ador Dorath - _Symbols_
(Shindy Productions, 2005)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7.5 out of 10)
Remember Shindy Productions? They were responsible for releasing an album titled _A Grand Magnificence_ by a Slovakian act called Depresy. I happened to review that record back in 1998, and never heard their name again -- until now. Last year they released this album, titled _Symbols_, the second full-length album by Depresy's neighbours Ador Dorath from the Czech Republic, which has finally found its way to my desk.

Instead of Depresy's Hypocrisy-inspired death metal however, Ador Dorath state that they use a mixture of symphonic black and doom metal. Nicely packaged, a striking combination of red and black on a white booklet with an unusual texture immediately giving a distinctive look to the album, _Symbols_ has something pleasantly foreign about it (though sometimes the thick accents become more apparent than they should).

The music doesn't come across as unoriginal, but it does bring to mind elements commonly associated with various unrelated acts, ranging from the likes of Lux Occulta and Cradle of Filth to Therion. There is a blackened core lurking within _Symbols_, driven by swift drumming and both snarled and grunted vocals; but there is also a very prominent symphonic element, represented by operatic female vocals, keyboards and acoustic string instruments. Most of this tends to get thrown into the songs in rapid succession, if not simultaneously, resulting in a busy feel to the songwriting that keeps the listener entertained. The flip side is that not everything works equally well, which is only to be expected, as demonstrated by the rather disastrous gothic-techno experiments on "Mountain" and the occasional lacklustre passage.

There is no doubt Ador Dorath can create distinctive and engaging sequences, even if for the time being they can sometimes also come across as trying too hard to shine and surprise the listener, losing some focus in the process. When they hit their stride as a symphonic blackened metal unit with some jazzy, half-deranged tendencies, Ador Dorath can certainly impress -- which they do for much of the record, even if somewhat intermittently. Talent seems to abound -- mainly in the keyboard, bass, drumming and female vocal departments -- and with more consistency in their songwriting, there really is no telling what they might come up with next; in any case, they certainly seem to be on their way to something big.


(article published 12/8/2006)

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