|Prologue: I feel uncomfortable writing negative reviews. I don’t like being the bad guy, thrashing some other's musical work, be it wonderful or plain crap. I hate being unkind to labels I respect, to bands with whom I can relate, for I know how hard they work and above that, I feel as if I'm shooting my own leg - as if I’m poisoning the pool from which I quench my thirst, no less - but sometimes I think that enough is enough! Read on...|
It seems, as though Firebox records is a little bit scared, not to say panicking. Why scared? Apparently it is frightened that the stock of unsigned doom/death metal bands will run out, otherwise what’s the point in signing virtually every band on the face of earth? I mean, this label has started really well, going for the most intriguing, twisted, unique and original acts (e.g., Aarni, Umbra Nihil, Pantheist, Until Death Overtakes Me, My Shameful, Woods Of Belial etc.) only to trail off the main road and has since been picking debris, from all sides, just for the hell of it. I cannot figure the rationale in that, I cannot judge nor will I. I only write about what I observe...
The evolution for Firebox records, unfortunately, is disastrous I think, and if the people who run this label won't stop for a second and calculate cautiously their next steps into the future, alas! There would be no future for this fine Finnish label. People today are unforgiving, being quickly bored and always strive for the maximum for their money, high standards and perfection, no less. In addition, metal labels today are in abundance, thousands of them are infesting the underground and beyond, and I, as a consumer, need a real damn good reason to pick an album from the heap of albums, and pay my hard-earned coins for the pleasure... Now, would you give me a reason to do so, dear fellows at Firebox records? You’ve been busy signing every second-tier and orphaned melodic death metal band out there, most of which are faceless, disposable bands releasing similarly disposable albums, some of your latest signings just make me wonder what made you do it... You are running wild with your 'quantity over quality' ideas, and it's just not working...
Consider this a free business advice, dear friends at Firebox records…Which brings me to Necare...
Well, Necare plays the expected, familiar, predictable and uninspired sort of romantic, melodic doom/death metal. It sure is delivering its product, 'Ruin', in the most admirable way, meaning an excellent artwork, good lyrics, fine, full and ripe crystal-clear production and the ordinary slow death metal (doom???) clichés in the over-all sound and gimmicks within the music...
You would find it hard to blame bands/albums such as these, being superficial or second-class products, because they really aren't. Doom fanatics will always refer you to the aesthetics of the band, its sombre cover artwork, the sad, long songs (epic???), the My Dying Bride/Paradise Lost/Anathema/(put any other reference here) similarities, and they'll say something like: "It’s slow, it’s heavy, it is bound to be good". I say: "Bullshit!"
Necare adds nothing new, regretfully, to the underground metal music gene pool, not in the sense of song writing, nor song structure, nor in the form of some bold wild ideas, experimentation etc., the music is completely unchallenging, unintriguing and uninteresting, not only due to its lack of originality (i.e., on a comparative basis) but even when judged completely on its own.
More than a subtle echo or a hint (and that's a major understatement) can be heard throughout the recording, of other bands that did the same thing in the near or far past of the relatively short metal history. Is our collective memory so short, so forgetful that we have to repeat time and again, copy, borrow, steal even, ideas upon ideas?
Has originality and creativity been flushed down the drain with so many other qualities? I hope the answer is NO.
Epilogue: 'Ruin' is a decent, darkly tinged and quite heavy, pure doom/death experience for the uninitiated, filled with romantic and gothic innuendos. Brooding, slow and ultra clear in sound, 'Ruin' is an excellently executed album that will appeal to most average melodic/dramatic doom/death enthusiasts out there.
I didn't find anything new or exciting about this recording, but chances are you likely will...
1. Stillborn Twilight
2. Rite of Shrouds
3. Desire (The Dawn & The Chrysalis)
4. Canto XXXIV
8. Waters of Quiet
9. Touching Eternity
Duration : Approx. 60 minutes
Visit the Necare bandpage.