Gothmog - _A Step in the Dark_
(Xtreem Music, 2008)
by: Quentin Kalis (7 out of 10)
The debut album from the Spanish quartet consists of symphonic black metal crossed with melodic death, with an emphasis on the former. Two members are also in melodic power metal band Cain's Destiny, which has a positive and negative aspect on the music. _A Step in the Dark_ is fairly technical -- extremely so by black metal standards. The songs are guitar driven, with soaring keyboards relegated to a supporting role. The production is adequate and competent, similar to other bands in the melodic black metal strain, but without the polished sheen of later Dimmu Borgir. Its major flaw is that it is a black metal album, and black metal is supposed to be dark and brooding; riffs that Old Man's Child and Dimmu Borgir rejected as too upbeat can hardly be epitomes of the genre. Gothmog may have taken a step into the darkness but they have to plunge headfirst into, not just skim around the edges. If your favourite albums are _Ill-Natured Spirit Invasion_ and _Enthrone Darkness Triumphant_, then this will not be problematic, but most of us will patiently await a future and darker offering from these otherwise welcome newcomers.


(article published 5/5/2009)

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