SaraLee - _Darkness Between_
(Firebox, 2006)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7 out of 10)
This disc here should have been too commercial-sounding, generally soft and upbeat for my taste, yet somehow I still like the record more than I expected. An enthusiastic mix of Paradise Lost and Sentenced is an accurate enough description of SaraLee's sound: gothic metal with a consistent rocking edge. No, it's not exactly original, and yes, it is rather radio friendly for the most part, but SaraLee happen to be good at what they do. They even throw some death vocals into doomy album closer "Like Dreamers" -- and by the way, the result suggests they should start doing that more often in the future. Still, even with just the clean vocals on their own, SaraLee prove very adept at creating an accomplished mix of memorable choruses, pleasant melodies and reasonably metallic riffing, as shown on the strong album opener "Everytime".

The album doesn't aspire to be more than just a well paced collection of similarly structured, instantly catchy songs, which, depending on your frame of mind, can just as easily work for or against it. Had it sounded grittier and more dejected, with more of those death vocals to further spice up the songs and perhaps a little originality just for a change, it could have been a cracker. Nevertheless, _Darkness Between_ still remains a very competent and enjoyable debut if you like the genre, although one that doesn't bring much in the way of novelty to the table.


(article published 28/7/2006)

4/15/2009 P Azevedo 7 SaraLee - Damnation to Salvation
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