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WEBCounter by GOWEB    

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   REQUIEM
Mask Of Damnation
2003
Soundriot
http://www.requiem.kpnet.com


rating: 2/5

1. Blinded
2. The Dying Ember
3. Mask Of Damnation
4. Divine Illusion
5. Ethereal Journey
6. Shrine Of The Ocean
7. Dagger
8. The Rival`s Spell
One thing first - you have to take care, if we talk about Requiem (lat. after the introduction prayer, but mostly used as a musical peace for a funeral), since while doing my research I already found three other bands with the same name, which are still releasing CDs as well. So eyes open..!

Our Requiem here is originally a melodic death metal band, which was founded in 1999 and after two demos they released their debut album "The Arrival" in 2002.
Now I've got their newest release in front of me, "Mask Of Damnation", which is already promising with its nicely done cover. The album got mixed by Nino Laurenne (Thunderstone) and mastered by Mika Jussila at the famous Finnvox Studios, where already Kotipelto and Thunderstone have had been, which is assuring also and mostly those guys do a pretty good job. So this time! Now on to the essential part- the music!
Basically the CD consists of a mix of melodic, symphonic and progressive metal. It sounds pretty much like Rhapsody to my ears. One of the strong elements of this band is probably the melodic guitar work which already can be heard in the opening track "Blinded". Accompanied by fast drums (you shouldn't glue your drummer to the double bass) and nicely arranged keyboard parts played by Henrik Klingenberg (Sonata Arctica).
Juouni Nikula's - lets say - interesting vocal work is unique and definitely not my cup of tea, especially because he has sometimes trouble to hit the notes right. But I admire his guts to try out different ways of singing.
The second song "The Dying Ember" is all right too, but is missing already catchy hook lines. The title song is one of the best on this album. It seems to have the right balance between the double bass and the melodic work. In the last three songs Requiem is more open to play with progressive elements.

In the end, "Mask Of Damnation" does not really convince me to buy, but the band has definitely good chances to grow with constructive critics.
Recommendable tracks would be the title track "Mask Of Damnation" and "Divine Illusion" containing a fast guitar/keyboard duel.

submitted by Nadja 10.02.2004

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