Sculpture - _Like a Dead Flower_
(Art, 1998)
by: Pedro Azevedo (9 out of 10)
The _Crestfallen_ EP and _Serenades_ saw the bleak sunlight during the years of 1992 and 1993, respectively, and were among the main reasons why I started listening to doom metal -- those two, and especially _Serenades_, still mean very much to me today. Since then, much has happened with their creators, Anathema, and with the doom metal scene. Those were the years of Katatonia's _Dance of December Souls_ and My Dying Bride's _As the Flower Withers_ and _Turn Loose the Swans_. But things did change for all these bands. Now, Sculpture have produced an MCD of which the few parts that don't sound either like the _Crestfallen_ EP or _Serenades_ tend to sound like Anathema's _Pentecost III_ EP. This Portuguese band harvested the ideas found in Anathema's debut and, with a lot of merit and very good production, managed to create an impressive MCD that I can only see as a tribute to Anathema, such is the extent of the similarities. Every instrumental component is similar to early Anathema; so are the vocals and the song structures and style. All three of the 'main' tracks on this MCD are indeed very good from start to finish, but I have to mention the excellent faster part in "Autumn Serenades", which reminded me of "Under a Veil (of Black Lace)" from Anathema's _Serenades_ -- a proof of how enhanced the impact of a fast(er) section can be when surrounded by much slower music. The only thing I really didn't like in _Like a Dead Flower_ were the rather excessive fade-outs found in most tracks. This is the highest rating I've ever given a Portuguese album in CoC -- in fact, _Like a Dead Flower_ is the best Portuguese doom metal album I've ever heard, slightly better than even Desire's _Infinity_ (see my Desire review in this issue), even though much less original. Then again, if they had been more original then most likely this MCD wouldn't have been so good. Originality is hardly a problem when quality is so high and the sound Sculpture explore still has much more to give.

(article published 13/4/1998)

9/1/1998 P Azevedo Sculpture: A Sculpture of Sorrow
5/19/1999 A Cantwell 7.5 Sculpture - Spiritual Matrix
6/15/1999 P Azevedo Sculpture / Omnio Eternally Engraved
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