Review by Wiley on June 26, 2009.
While I have always been one to promote expanding sound and pushing genre boundaries, sometimes I wonder if the details of songwriting are lost by those that undertake such endeavors. This is the crux of Damned Spirits' Dance's latest release - "Weird Constellation".
I very much enjoy the fact they dont mind walking around staying within one genre or another by adding frequency travelling synth atmospheres, circus-esque vocals, and dense melody lines to their basis of Dimmu Borgir/Cradle Of Filth blackened metal. They even pepper the tunes with breaks of Pestilence-Sphere's era dissonance, and samples placed amongst the more open ended riffs and buildups. However, with all these nice seasonings, on top of some well done playing, I cannot overlook the glaring rips all over this disc.
What worth is a definitely fluid song, with peaks and valleys woven tight and deep - if the hook and main verse contain blatant rips of Metallica's "Damage Inc"??. The next track is an obvious departure, moving back into Dimmu territory, yet with all the lyrical cheese of Cradle Of Filth. Maybe the addition of glaring half the class nods to Arcturus last opus (via the broken clean vocals), and even some key runs probably more appropriate for Cradle than someone trying to move into
experimental territory. Although this all has me wondering after each track - where to next??? Marduk rips??? There is talent present, mounds of it, however this does not originality make - which if I am not mistaken was the point of composing this album under the avantgarde label to begin with, no??? Should I also mention the drum machine driven title track that completely derails things in a very bad, video game way??? Or the very eighties diva vocals polluting the following track, taking me back to the old days then kill it thoroughly with a blast beat follow up???? No, add that to the din, and if it still seems tasty to you, check it out. This is just not for me.
Brick by brick, this is by no means a bad CD. Well presented songs, semi-cohesive structures, melodies and harmonies, tight rythm section, multi-textured vocal execution, and a quality format - it just absolutely doesn't deviate from being a hodgepodge of idea's that do not present anything really new or mind blowing.
Maybe if solidified, with a more discerning approach to writing, a clearer direction of what they are attempting, and of course lose the cheese and ripoffs - then maybe you have a package worth some of the praise these guys seem to be looking for. I am done with this, for me a novelty at best.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 4.5 out of 10