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   POISONBLACK
Escapexstacy
2003
Century Media
http.//www.poisonblack.com


rating: 4/5

1. The Glow Of The Flames
2. Love Infernal
3. The State
4. All Else Is Hollow
5. In Lust
6. Exciter
7. Lay Your Heart To Rest
8. With Her I Die
9. Illusion/Delusion
10. The Kiss Of Death
The flood of Finnish bands playing melancholic and gothic metal/rock along the lines of Entwine, Charon, To/Die/For and Lullacry continues. Poisonblack is another addition to that list with their melancholic heavy metal with a slight gothic aspect. The band was formed by Sentenced frontman Ville Laihiala who handles the guitars instead of vocals on this album and is responsible for most of the songwriting, while also bassist Janne Kukkonen has contributed his share to the songwriting. JP Leppäluoto from Charon is in charge of the vocal department on this album and he does a good job indeed and his slightly desperate voice suits the music perfectly. Also is in the line-up are three other members who are said to be "under the influence".

Given the lineup, comparisons to both Sentenced and Charon are inavoidable. It might be partly because of the vocals that I think this is closer to the sound of Charon than Sentenced although that's quite obviously not the whole truth. At times also Type O Negative and Paradise Lost are bound to come to mind while this doesn't actually remind me of Sentenced that much, if at all. The songs are heavy, yet mellow in a way, with occasionally piano-like keyboards and occasionally sounding like modern synth does, adding their share of romantic feeling to the overall outcome. The lack of "hurry" and instead some heavy and pounding riffs, and quite unexpectedly even some bluesy stuff on this album make it relaxing to listen to. The production, handled by Laihiala and Kukkonen themselves, is absolutely nothing to complain about. The heavy parts sure do sound heavy and the more mellow passages are roomy enough.

The song material consists of some tunes that possess real hit potential, quite a few solid tracks and not one that could be described as a filler. Tunes like "All Else Is Hollow", "In Lust", "Lay Your Heart To Rest" and especially the slow ballad-like "With Her I Die" and more rocking "Illusion/Delusion" and the closer "The Kiss Of Death" are perfect when contemplating in despair and sipping your wine.

Romanticism dripping in the air, red wine, smoke of cigars, curtains swirling in the autumn wind and a velvet couch is what this is all about. Love and death, melancholy and mellow darkness.

submitted by Aleksi 01.01.2003

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