Godgory - _Sea of Dreams_ / _Shadow's Dance_
(Hammerheart, 2001)
by: David Rocher (7 and 4)
The somewhat untypical Swedish melodic death metal outfit Godgory was initially signed to the German-based label Invasion Records who, you may recall, also released Cryptopsy's first effort, _Blasphemy Made Flesh_ -- a very ominous recording, which was eventually reissued by Displeased Records. Indeed, as Invasion Records suddenly disappeared from the scene a couple of years ago, facing an increasing circulation of rip-off allegations, bands such as Cryptopsy, or Godgory (now signed to Nuclear Blast), found themselves homeless, with requests for their out-of-print former releases remaining unheeded to. Hence, Hammerheart Records have reissued and repackaged, in double-CD form, Godgory's praiseworthy 1995 debut _Sea of Dreams_, and its rather disappointing 1997 sequel, _Shadow's Dance_. Indeed, after the beautiful, acoustic-laden depths of _SoD_, the tentatively heavier and more powerful material on _SD_ just fails to hit its mark: an unbalanced production (excessively loud drums and unconvincing guitar fuzz), cheesy, overemotional spoken/melodic vocals, and acoustic guitar lines subdued by keyboards all contribute to make _SD_ a rather dispensable experience. _SoD_, however, still retains much of the charm it displayed at the time of its release -- its convincing production, courtesy of Dan Swano's Unisound studios, attains an accurate balance between the mid-tempo guttural heaviness shed by the potent rhythmic section combined with Matte Andersson's powerful vocals and the delicate, crystalline acoustic melodies wisely interspersed throughout the tracks. Godgory's atmospheric death metal debut was, and so remains to this day, a profound and very enjoyable release, graced with generally catchy songwriting, and with the very remarkable and characteristic talents of axemen Stefan Olsson and Micke Dahlquist -- few Scandinavian death metal bands could, at the time, claim to have such proficient and inspired guitarists in their ranks. However, as I already broached, quite contrarily to _Sea of Dreams_, irritation-tinged boredom soon sets in when listening to the blunt _Shadow's Dance_ -- the contrast in musical and lyrical depth between these two albums is astonishing, and a re-release of _SD_ alone could hardly, nowadays, have claimed to be a worthwhile investment. _SoD_, however, despite the ugly packaging -- not that the original Invasion Records release was beautiful, far from that -- is fully worth a listen for metalheads out there who have discovered Godgory with _Resurrection_.

(article published 12/4/2002)

10/19/2001 A Bromley Godgory: Creation Through Evolution
10/19/2001 C Flaaten 6 Godgory - Way Beyond
8/12/1999 P Schwarz 5 Godgory - Resurrection
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