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Monday, March 12, 2012

Elysium Metallum - part 3

 The Indian metal scene is truly exploding with world class releases and better bands coming up on a daily basis. May this flourishing continue.

Guillotine - "The Cynic"
My verdict : 8/10

"The Cynic" is the first offering from New Delhi, India, based progessive death band Guillotine. And when you say progressive death metal, what is the first word, that stands up screaming at you, inside your brain? Yeah, exactly. Opeth.

The album opens with the track "The Alchemy : Tears of Despair" and oh my word, what a cracker of a track! All the elements that shall make this band great one day are right here. The deep growls, the incredible musicianship, fantastic arrangements, incorporation of Indian classical scales and arrangements, incredible bass playing, tight ferocious drumming and good clean singing. Now I say, it shall make them great, because, for me, the album does go slightly downhill from here on.

Don't get me wrong when I say downhill. Its not bad. Not at all. Any of the rest of tracks would be a righteously proud member on an Opeth record. The tracks really are great. "Revisiting Faith", for me is the next most interesting track on this album as it flaunts the ultra progressive side of this band. Synths do a great job on this track and so are the arrangements. "To The Heavens" is another must listen with its funky grooves and melody-counter melody plays between the vocals and synth/guitars.

But that is all there is to differentiate them from Opeth. I mean, the progressive label is as broad as it gets and being called equal to Opeth is a terrific achievement in and by itself. But that is a double edged sword that kills the vibe that it started out with. There isn't another track on this album where I thought , "Ok, Opeth never did that. Guillotine own this thing". It just falls short on the identity front, something that the first track had in spades. Ok, maybe it isn't as bleak and dark as Opeth albums are throughout. There are bits and pieces from other things that influence this band, but it comes back to the same thing.

And that is the only beef I have with this album. It would make any fan of this band and genre proud, The Cynic really is a good album. Well worth the money. I hope they establish their identity much more strongly on their next album. But what a track that album opener is!

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