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A Dream Of Poe : Lady of Shalott

When it comes to portuguese Doom Metal, one generally only knows Desire or Ava Inferi. While those two bands are excellent, there are the trees hiding the whole forest of great unsigned bands, like Mourning Lenore or signed but as obscure like Why Angels Fall.

Those bands shows what the portuguese Doom scene is best known for : Gothic Doom Death. Coming from the small archipelago of the Azores, A Dream Of Poe is the perfect example of this. The band may not be unknown to the underground archeologists, having been founded as a solo project by the keyboard's player in In Peccatum (another azorean Gothic Doom band). Having already released a demo, an EP and a live album, the band offers us today another EP which is in fact an appetizer for their first real studio album, to be released later this year.

The music displayed here is quite simple : very melodic Gothic Doom, full of sorrowful melodies, with the occasional Doom Death moments. The construction of the songs won't surprise the listener, but what makes this EP such a good release is the various ideas used to make it something different than just another romantic Gothic Doom outfit. Let's take what is the best example of that: the song ‘Lady Of Shalott’ : dark melodies, crushing riffs and drumming, good use of the bass and keyboards, and 'Beauty and the Beast' style vocals. Except there's no woman singing : just one only male vocalist (clear, growls and whispers), all styles being so nicely entwined that it never sounds dull. The simple idea to use only male vocals for a 'Beauty and the Beast' singing is as effective as it's clever. This simple song is so good that the EP is worth buying just for it. The short version is quite useless, if you ask me, as this is just a remake without nothing really changing, but the duration.

Add to that a very good cover from The Cure and two remakes from old songs (while this would seems useless, it's a great way to introduce new listeners to the older, and hard to find, material) and you'll get your 36 minutes of great music. Too bad that the remakes are just old songs played with new sound, and not a completely re-worked material : while those are good songs, there are just damn less good than Lady Of Shalott.

This is an EP that do very well what's it's supposed to do: when the end comes, you just feel the urge to put it again, and again. If the upcoming album is as good as this one, this will sure be a hit for any lover of romantic Gothic Doom.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Lady Of Shalott
2. Lady Of Shalott - Short Version
3. If Only Tonight We Could Sleep
4. Laudanum
5. Whispers Of Osiris

Duration : Approx. 36 minutes

Visit the A Dream Of Poe bandpage.

Reviewed on 20-07-2010 by Laurent Lignon
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