Requiem (Fin) - Mask of damnation 4.5/5
2. The dying ember
3. Mask of damnation
4. Divine illusion
5. Ethereal journey
6. Shrine on the ocean
8. The rival's spell
Requiem’s debut, 'The arrival' is one of my favorite debut CDs of all time and this follow-up, while not quite as good, lives up to the high quality that the band showed on the debut. The sound of this CD is very similar to the previous CD. It features an almost eclectic, and very original, combination of power, progressive and a little bit of thrash metal. It is excellent throughout and is one of those CDs that is good even at its low points.
The track on the CD that probably sums it up the best is the 2nd track, “The dying ember”. How many bands can feature lyrics that repeat the word “on” 8 times consecutively and sound really good doing it? Well, Requiem is able to do just that on this track sliding from those lyrics directly into a hypnotic guitar solo. Several of the tracks, the title track, the finale and Blinded have weaker than usual vocal melodies than the band usually presents, but they are still very good tracks due to their uniqueness and some very nice instrumental melodies. The 2nd half of the middle of the CD is the strength here, with the very melodic “Ethereal journey” and “Dagger”, the latter of which is clearly the standout track on the CD. This track has everything; a slow buildup, chugging guitars, and a huge, melodic chorus.
This CD doesn’t quite get the top rating, as the debut did, because the songwriting isn’t quite as strong as on 'The arrival'. That does not mean that the songwriting is poor, however. It is still very strong and extremely original. The CD is worth getting for “Dagger” alone, and even the tracks which aren’t quite as melodically strong as others are still very good, as the band has so much going on in every track other than just the vocal melody alone. Requiem has managed to live up to a very strong debut with this excellent follow-up and given the band’s obvious talents, future CDs should be equally high in quality.
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