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   DARKSEED
Astral Adventures
2003
Massacre
http://www.darkseed.com


rating: 3/5

1. Dying Land
2. Fly Into The Night
3. Where Will I Go
4. Can´t Explain
5. Life
6. Hear Me
7. Souls Unite
8. Rain Of Revival
9. Forever Stay
10. Waiting
11. Every Day
12. It Shall End

Darkseed changed their sound quite a lot over the years, starting more or less as a death metal band in 1994. But at least the last two albums were certainly gothic metal and Darkseed were one of the few bands in that genre that I liked. One reason for this was probably the fact that they didn't sound just like any other gothic metal band. You know, those bands with affected keyboards and whining female vocals in between. It's a pity, but in my opinion that now changed a bit and "Astral Adventures" isn't exactly the album I was hoping for. Astral? Yes, probably. Adventures? No, unfortunately.

Darkseed still sound like Darkseed but in a less exciting incarnation. I even dare to say they became somewhat boring with this album. Predictable. And less heavy. Of course, they always had soft parts and melancholic passages in their songs but the point is that these were usually followed by some heavy outbreak which gave the songs nice dynamics. "Astral Adventures" is less powerful and crunchy than any of its predecessors. This time, the songs often simply remain on a certain level and I especially miss the use of Stefan's various vocal styles. I didn't expect him to growl but there's not even some harsher, more aggressive singing! A few effects for his vocals is what I found. What a waste of talent.
Instead, there's now much more female vocals and some of you will know that I'm not too much into female vocals. There are songs in which I can quite enjoy them ("Where Will I Go") but in some songs (most of all "Rain Of Revival") I simply can't ignore them. And even if I manage to do so, all I find is a song that is somewhat nice but forgotten once it's over. The overall songwriting is weaker and the album turns out to be rather monotonous, simply put: "Astral Adventures" fails to grab me and Darkseed tend to become more like an ordinary goth band.

Stand-out tracks for me are "Souls Unite" (interesting chorus) and "It Shall End" (do I hear a double bass there? *eek*) Fans of the genre will probably still dig this album a lot more than I do.

submitted by Cora 12.07.2003

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