The Equinox ov the Gods - _Where Angels Dare Not Tread_
(Virusworx Records, 2002)
by: Adam Lineker (3.5 out of 10)
Since last issue, I have experienced pangs of guilt in my waking moments over the violent critical mauling that I gave to Danse Macabre's _Matters of the Heart_ EP. Thankfully, The Equinox ov the Gods reminded me of why I believe synth-pop-goth and metal should never be mixed, thus laying my conscience to rest. Strangely enough, this album begins with a disturbing mix of sampled screams and gunfire; whether or not this was used to denote the severity of the thematic content is debatable. However, it only succeeds in setting entirely the wrong mood, as the following music conveys no such sentiment; indeed, serious questions may be asked pertaining to the music's capability to effectively do so at all. Overall, within _Where Angels Dare Not Tread_ there is very little that can be complimented. An acceptably active keyboard is consigned to carrying melodies that soon become mind numbing through repetition while the guitar plays unchallenging and unimaginative accompaniment. The whole rhythm section is rigidly uninteresting, seemingly devoid of any spark of innovation and although the production is clean, the vocals are far too high in the mix. Lamentably, these vocals are also monotonous in both expression and style. Somewhere between a bellow and an exaggerated groan of assumed emotion, the intrusive vocal posturing drowns the music in a deluge of pretentious gothcheese. It is this element that adds higher levels of detestability to _Where Angels Dare Not Tread__; take into account that this is no lyrical masterpiece, yet is performed as if it were the most melodramatic Shakespearean tragedy, making it embarrassing and laughable. Many of the songs seem to suffer from tempos that are too slow for their own good and the melodic layering often seems a little too sparse; even if this was the desired effect, it is another factor that makes The Equinox ov the Gods seem incredibly shallow. Occasionally, they throw up moments of more striking melody or manage to formulate interesting ideas, but their sense of melodic progression is too linear and uninspired, resulting in a collection of songs that seem to go nowhere. Whether or not this will be played in Germanic goth clubs is anyone's guess, but I cannot see _Where Angels Dare Not Tread_ causing many waves.


(article published 16/3/2003)

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