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Storm Before Calm

Ireland Country of Origin: Ireland

1. The Heretic's Age
2. Fallen To Ruin
3. Cast To The Pyre
4. Suns First Rays
5. What Sleeps Within
6. Hosting Of The Sidhe
7. Sons Of The Morrigan

Review by Denis on January 21, 2003.

""Storm Before Calm" is primal, it seeks to question the morals, religions and cultures imposed upon us, the questioning of oneself" (Primordial). The Irish band go the extra mile to bring out some of the most inspired lyrics included in this recording. Each song has its reason and explanation.

The first thing that struck me when I listened to this album was its powerful type of rhythmic section involving double bass drum, superb and fast riffs and very strong bass lines. On the other hand, it was also melodic and the black vocals must be the cleanest type available. Nice choice of contrast. To add to the beauty of it all, clean male vocal appearances here and there and one can feel some sort of Doom/Gothic ambiance throughout the whole opus, much to my pleasure. One last compliment before I go into some inside details is that they have a sound that resembles My Dying Bride at times without being a carbon copy, here again, much to my pleasure.

To give you more of an indepth appreciation of this rather intense CD, I shall guide you to some of the songs that I feel show the diversity of "Storm Before Calm". 'Fallen to Ruin' has a nice acoustic and dark intro before the storm of heavy riffs and melodic lines guided by great vocals electrify you with its high voltage. The most extreme number is called 'What Sleeps Within' and what a destructive and savage piece this is! The tortured voice of Mr. Nemtheanga is most likely to please all of you people thirsty of Black flavors. In order to allow some air for breathing purpose, they also enclosed a couple breaks and acoustic guitars. If that was not enough and you're turning purple, well the problem will be solved right after with a cool instrumental interlude by the name of 'Suns First Rays'. This quiet moment is beautifully dressed with pleasant acoustic guitar backed by some traditional sounding percussion giving a nice and relaxing folkloric taste to the overall composition.

If you like high quality and diversity in your Black fantasies, this album has a lot to offer to you and fans of My Dying Bride will feel comfortably in familiar ground with "Storm Before Calm".

Bottom Line: Obviously this is certain to be a record that all of you should take some time to check out.

Categorical Rating Breakdown

Musicianship: 9
Atmosphere: 9
Originality: 8.5
Production: 10
Overall: 9

Rating: 9.1 out of 10