The Soundbyte - _Rivers of Broken Glass_
(Amaranth, 2004)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7.5 out of 10)
Trond Engum, best known for his guitar work and songwriting in The 3rd and the Mortal, apparently recorded this solo effort over a period of two months spent on a boat, somewhere in the North Sea. The Soundbyte is made up of mellow electric guitar and strings, drums and bass, male and female vocals, brass, keyboards and programming. Despite the presence of female vocals, there isn't much for old The 3rd and the Mortal fans here: the music is far from the realms of metal, and the focus is more on low-key gothic male vocals. Most of the songs relate to the suggestive album title, _Rivers of Broken Glass_; though not overly dark by extreme metal standards, the feeling Trond Engum managed to create using mainstream sounds comes across as quite refreshing and effective. Forget the annoyingly upbeat "Waiting" -- it only serves to mark the beginning of the second half of the album, with such interesting tracks as "The Line", the atmospheric "Reflections of Broken Glass", "The Dark" and the female-sung "Til Ungdommen". This isn't to say there is nothing of interest in the first half of the album, but I tend to find the generally darker tone and compositions of the second half much more enjoyable. If you feel like embarking on a cold voyage outside the realm of metal, then I would advise seeking _Rivers of Broken Glass_.


(article published 29/11/2004)

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