To/Die/For - _Wounds Wide Open_
(Spinefarm, 2006)
by: Nikola Shahpazov (5 out of 10)
_Wounds Wide Open_ is one of those albums where you know exactly what you're about to hear way before pressing the play button. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if you're into HIM, 69 Eyes or Crematory type of over-dramatic gothic metal. With song titles such as "Scar Diary" and "Under a Velvet Sky", there is bound to be a pack of romantic and just a bit dark opuses about hearts breaking, sin and, above all -- love, of course.

The piano intro "Sorrow" sets the tone, followed by the keyboard dominated "Wicked Circle", which sounds decent enough; but the rest of the album continues in pretty much the same direction, with mellow guitar riffs and drumming in the back, plus the compulsory melodic leads and simplistic synths upfront. Goth metal tends to rely on the usual pop tactics, so the songs are all extremely easy to digest, but all follow a very similar verse/chorus/verse pattern, which gets annoying quite fast. Furthermore, they're not particularly catchy either. The vocals of Jape Peratalo are the real low point of this record however: sadly, they lack any power and thus completely fail to be emotional and expressive, which is devastating in this particular subgenre.

As is the tradition with To/Die/For records, there is a cover song included -- and this time it is, of all things, Ozzy Osbourne's "(I Just) Want You". Unsurprisingly, it's far and away from the powerful impression the original makes, both when it comes to instrumental intensity, production and vocals. This is what happens when you mess with the greats.


(article published 5/10/2006)

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