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Cassandra Syndrome : Of Patriots and Tyrants

A 'Cassandra Syndrome' (also called a Cassandra Metaphor) "is a term applied in situations in which valid warnings or concerns are dismissed or disbelieved" (source: Wikipedia). The term is taken from Cassandra's unfortuenate fate, described in mythology as being cursed to see the future but never to be believed when she tried to warn others. I find it obvious that the band Cassandra Syndrome uses this metaphor to refer to those who are now warning us that we are polluting the world to its grave, but where people refuse to believe the claims. Since I have a strong interest in eco-psychology (i.e. environmental conservation psychology) I consider this metaphor to be a quote good explanation for a phenomena I know to be true to some degree. I believe the cause of the phenomena is that people cannot handle the thought of an apocalypse and even less the thought of them being a leading cause of this apocalypse. But before I continue, I find it important to note that the band might be using the metaphor on a wider range of conscepts than just environmental ones.

Truth be told, I am not writing this review because Cassandra Syndrome is a Doom band, or even Doom related. There are clear hints of The 3rd and the Mortal in the music, but that is as close as the band comes to "our" genre. Cassandra Syndrome is much more similar to Within Temptation and even then the latter have more Doom Metal elements. I am doing this not just because the band truly deserves some recognition, but because I want to promote environmental consciousness as a lyrical theme. Even if I were one of the disbelievers I would still say that Cassandra Syndrome has validated their choice of theme through the necessary "metalness" of their texts (e.g. the pointing of fingers, provocation, strong emotions and, of course, apocalypse/death and destruction). As a bonus, Irene Jericho manages to do what Tarja Turunen never did: do classical vocals well and to put them to good use. It's a shame that she so rarely tunes down to a regular singing voice since while she is really good at bright classic vocals, she sounds even better with a deeper voice.

I must admit that I've really come to enjoy this album and in my opinion it has just one flaw. While we get to enjoy Irene's deeper vocals on 'Wild', it's also the track which suddenly spins out of control and into experimental mayhem. It begins quite calmly and then suddenly turns into an up-tempo tribal track that completely disregards how the track started. Similar stunts have been pulled off before and the sudden turn to tribal music could have ended well if the first part of the track had given some hint of what was to come. Unfortuenately, the suddenness ruins this track for me allthough I've come to accept it over the course of many spins.

I do not reccomend this to Doom fans, but if you're into Within Temptation's 'Mother Earth' then know that 'Of Patriots and Tyrants' follows this very vein and it is clear that the band has accomplished a solid identity of their own despite doing so. I also hope that other musicians take some notice of this release and get some inspiration on how to wrap environmental issues in a very metal casing.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Phoenix
2. None But Shadows
3. What We Sow
4. Mirror Mirror
5. Burning
7. Cassandra
8. Skadi's Touch
9. Soma
10. Wild

Duration : Approx. 47 minutes.

Visit the Cassandra Syndrome bandpage.

Reviewed on 26-04-2009 by Arnstein Petersen
Aesthetic Death
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