Bloodrose – Into Oblivion – 4.5/5
Forget the bad gothic-tinged name or any preconceptions of Symphonic Black, this isn’t some sugar coated shadow of aggression presented in the absence of keyboards, this is the ideal blend of both worlds, carefully integrated in a manner that leaves neither side wanting. Epic toned and icy cold with each aspect making a prominent appearance, this poorly known Finnish quartet leaves little to be desired as it meanders through the rapidly shifting path, from all out tremolo aggression to a bombastic keyboard-induced blackened bliss at a moments notice, ever retaining a strong dark-toned melody.
The guitars provide no shortage of riffs with a dazzling variety, retaining that cold, distorted tone to provide a constant thick wall of icy despair, the base chords working with the bass who even the bass gets his foot in the door of the production, heard providing the base rhythm for the track. Layered on top of this is the lead guitars providing the main guitar focus, varying nicely between the cleaner always superbly complemented by the drums working overtime to fluidly enable the transitions in pace, making full range of the weapons at his disposal to work his magic; he provides no shortage of fills and more creative doom-like paced ethereal toned demonic atmospheric work, providing more than just your expected backing blast beats.
Weaving in out of the impeccable guitar melodies the keyboards present more than just your simple chord backing, never becoming too prominent or too much focus devoted to the melodies they create they nonetheless provide an integral component to the atmosphere, only further improved by the use of vocals. Never fearing to let the instrumentation carry the track, they emit a drawn out high pitched growl often heard struggling to fight through the instrumentation, what they lack in pitch variation they compensate for in passion and the prevalent emotion running throughout.
What makes this release so strong is not any single aspect performed spectacularly; this isn’t a showcase for one talented musician but rather an opportunity for the entire band to come together to produce seamlessly integrated black metal, each member able and willing to assist each other to create a relatively raw toned masterpiece, the keyboards proving how effective they can be utilised within the genre. A shame they disbanded shortly following this release as they prove to be a testament to the merit of the genre.
Highlights: Shattered Dreams, In Death Lies My Destiny, Kun Kuoleman Harso Laskeutuu, …Final Darkness Falls…