Signs of Darkness - _Beyond the Autumn Leaves_
(LSP Company, 2001)
by: Pedro Azevedo (6 out of 10)
How can a band play "atmospheric black metal" and have lyrics such as "Please give me, oh give me, tenderness" on its opening track? Consider that verses such as this are delivered not only by a female vocalist but also through blackened rasps, and you'll probably imagine how odd it sounds. Fortunately, however, things aren't quite that bad throughout the record as far as the lyrics are concerned; things do improve substantially after this disastrous start (or else the rating above would have been very different). The female vocals are below average, but overall the band does put together some decent, although derivative, music on _Beyond the Autumn Leaves_. Even if their music may be -slightly- blackened beyond the raspy vocals, it is essentially very melodic and heavily keyboard-enhanced. However, they do need to increase the intensity of their music and either improve the female vocals or change the way in which they are using them. Signs of Darkness sound like they still need to mature quite a bit, become more unique sound-wise and also both conceptually and musically more interesting. This may not be beyond their reach, however, as they do show some qualities in this album, which -- considering the kind of music they are actually -aiming- to play -- is overall competent but just about passable. Although it is far too sweet for my taste, _Beyond the Autumn Leaves_ does have some qualities that may make it worth a listen.


(article published 14/1/2002)

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