Thursday, February 28, 2013

... MAIDENS "Eve of Absolution" (album review)

Out from Milwaukee (Wisconsin), MAIDENS are a quatuor who formed in 2008 and released two EPs in 2010 and late 2011- prior to this debut album "Eve of Absolution" which is presently digitally available, while waiting for a physical release on Error rds by the end of next month...
I sometimes mistrust tags on bandcamp, especially when they're numerous and include several Post-something !!! We've got here mentioned : Doom, Drone, Post HC, Post Metal, Sludge... nothing incoherent at all on the paper and in the present facts; afteer all it's often a question of balance and consistency between the genres who make the hybridization worthy or not ... Neurosis, Omega Massif are some names that come in mind several times here but nothing disturbing in this, MAIDENS have a powerful and hanging approach which make worth listening this album !

Despite the Post-whatever tonality that -if not prominent- is often underlying,  one thing that makes the difference in favour of Maidens is the relative short length of the songs (7 pieces for about 35 minutes) which banishes the typical long contrasts between quiet and loud, heavy and soft that are too often displayed in the genre(s), MAIDENS waste no time and craft their stuff with heavy dynamics and subtle melodies which never denature their metallic stridency.

"Beginnings Rebirth" is a hell of a heavy starter which quickly install a menacing and mournful tonality as guideline, the riff is slow and brooding with wrenching screamed vocals; "Our Splendor, Our Antiquity" which follows has a more straight-up tempo, the guitar is roaring and melodic, this song confirms the intensity of the rythmic section which accentuate quite considerably the towering chords.

"Lands of the Blind" is not the most memorable piece of the album, sounds a bit too standard and the slight dirty and nasty touch of Sludge lacks in the guitar, even if the vocals are nicely forceful in the 2nd part.
"Discord, Storm in the Horizon" is the longest song but that's logical - considering that this instrumental is an haunting composition of drone ! Starting with a ghoslty mood, it grows in intensity and ends in a dissonant maelstrom, it is a good transition before the title song of this debut album "Eve of Absolution" with its thrumming riff and pounding drums added again, this song is another lethal instrumental.

After those both monstruous songs, it's good to hear again the tearing-up vocals on "Upheaval : She Has Abadoned Us" while the tempo calms down a bit on the closer "The Calm, the Silence" which is the most filled with post metal style cuts.

That's already the end and a couple of more songs would have been welcome but maybe it's better this way to keep the album compact and perfectly adapted for live conditions. Maidens leave with "Eve of Absolution" a great impression, the style of the band certainly needs some more depth to stand out from the crowd but it's a well-worth discovering debut.

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