Musta Talvi – Forced To Survive In Shadows EP
Another CD I've had lurking in my to be reviewed pile for a while – sorry fellas. Oh well better late than never....
The CD has two works on it – 2008's “When The Cleansing Fire Reigns” demo which I've already reviewed for this site, and this EP which I must stress from the outset is not the final mastered version. Taking that into account here's my thoughts...
The title track gets the show on the road and for the most part it's a solid opener. Lone drums are quickly joined by the rest of the band with the addition of a keyboard player giving the band a different dynamic. At the outset you're reminded of early Dragonforce before the main body of the song enters melodic death metal territory most redolent of Left To Bleed. Lengthy soloing is a bonus, although there are a couple of occasions – most notably after the guitar-keyboards-guitar solos section – where the track could be less clunky and flow a little better. Musically it's sound and Andy's change of vocal delivery works well.
“When The Cleansing Fire Reigns” opens with a quality riff and impressive scream from Andy. This one's an epic, a slower tempo track (penned by Dan I believe) which has folk and battle metal leanings. This one flows well and is a resounding success. “As Legions Silence” is essentially a lengthy keyboard leading into closer “Twilight Vengeance” which is intricate and again flows well. This song has been in their repertoire for a while and it shows – it's very assured.
To conclude then, this CD works well overall, and I'm sure the final mastering process will take care of most of my misgivings. As fate would have it I'll be able to comment on that soon as I've now got the finished version to review. I'll save my final analysis until I've reviewed that version, but on the evidence of this they've got a winner on their hands that fans of power, battle, folk and melodic death metal should enjoy. Watch this space!
.... additional comments to the above now I've heard the mastered version are as follows. It's a distinct improvement although I feel it still needs a tweak. My main concern regards the bite, or crunch, of the instruments. The keyboards in particular seem reedy, and the guitar sound could be more aggressive. There is still a marked difference in volume and overall sound between tracks one and two and three and four. For me the EP needs to sound like the latter two tracks to succeed as a whole. It's better but falls into the “close but no cigar” category as it stands. The obvious word that springs to mind for this to work is slicker. It's good, but needs to be great to really get the right people's attention.