Sculptured - The Spear of the Lily is Aureoled

Album- The spear of the lily is aureoled
Artist- sculptured
sorry for the rapidshare
Rating- 4/5

Gothenburg take notes, this is how Melodic Death metal should sound. I realize many of you may write this album off as soon you hear Melodic in the description but please for your own good give this a chance. This album is a great example of melo-death and so much more. The progressive aspect of this album is far and beyond what most fans consider Prog, dancing dangerously close to Avant-garde at times but without the sometimes forced feeling that certain Avant-garde bands bear with them.

Off the top I’ll discuss the vocals and lyricism. The vocals vary between very crisp, decipherable growls and clean, not quite operatic, but clean vocals. Here are an example of the lyrics off the song “Almond Beauty”,
“ The harsh winds, began to chill
But with her warmth, my heart she did fill
The night's crystal showers had ceased to be
The snow was no match for her almond beauty.”
As you can see romance and love play a large part in the lyrics, with many great metaphors used to describe the high points and unbearable lows of love. Again don’t come into this album expecting standard ANYTHING whether it be vocals, instrumentation or lyrics.

On to the guitar and drums. The first thing you hear in the whole album is a brilliantly melodic yet not at all clichĂ© guitar riff though not overly technical conveys such emotion that you cant help but like it. The rest of the album is similar with the guitarist playing high register, unique riffs though some are a bit more on the death metal side with palm mute a plenty. The drums do more than keep a beat but are fairly low in the mixing, audible but not taking centre stage. You’ll hear some nice fills every once in a while but nothing breathtaking.

Here’s where I mention the parts of this album that really take it to a whole new level of uniqueness. Occasionally you’ll hear sound clips from movies, usually of people talking about their relationships which of course fit’s the lyrics quite well. Then there’s the impromptu jazzy saxophone moments and the flamenco guitar interludes. The most refreshing thing about these aren’t the actual musical parts themselves but to hear how well they blend with the songs as a general rule. Many avant-garde bands using unusual instruments feel kind of stale or forced, not here, the saxophone solos fit beautifully into the album adding that much more to admire.

Overall this album is a must listen for any prog, melodic death metal, or avant-garde fan and I hope you give it an honest listen.

By Y. Mormil


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