Universum - _Leto Destinatus_
(Independent, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (7 out of 10)
Down under denizens Universum have married the competing twin streams of the northern hemisphere, combining European (read Swedish) melody with America's modern metal movement, particularly noticeable in the laryngitis-inducing vocals. Unfortunately, they also picked up the universal habit of interspacing inadequate clean vocals amongst perfectly competent growls. The production is above average and attention has been paid to all aspects of the recording process. This hardly renders them unique amongst their fellow countrymen -- the majority of strong and creative independent albums seem to originate from this island nation. Maybe the distance from the major metal markets and the presence of a strong and established metal scene might be factors? But I digress yet again. If there is a flaw, it seems that their songs sometime lack focus, but not energy, recalling similar dynamics on Dark Tranquillity's _Skydancer_. A relatively minor problem, one requiring some tweaking and tightening rather than an extreme makeover, and this is unlikely to be the last time we hear Universum's effusive songs.

Contact: http://www.universum.com.au

(article published 13/12/2008)

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