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Horrorgraphy : Season Of Grief

Symphonic Greek band Horrorgraphy's debut is a hit and miss affair that works best when it stays simple.

'Seasons of Grief' sees Athens band Horrorgraphy release their debut full-length album. The band favour a Symphonic Metal sound, with, as their name suggests, a spooky feel reminiscent of B movie horror soundtracks. Interestingly, the band comprises three singers and one musician, known as Dimon's Night, playing all instruments on the recording. The three vocalists each provide their own style of delivery, with soprano vocals from Marialena Trikoglou, brutal vocals from the aptly named Pain, and clean vocals from Seek. The concern is in these kinds of scenarios that having three different singers in one band could be a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth, and there is, to a degree, an element of that on this debut from Horrorgraphy. There is also in this case, regrettably, the suspicion that the broth may not have been all that tasty to begin with.

Opening track, 'In a Dark Time' sets the scene with some ominous keyboard effects straight from an '80s horror flick, before a metal riff kicks in and screeching soprano vocals begin delivered in a very classical style that jars with the rather cheap sounding keyboard effects and distorted guitar. Whilst it is possible for these elements to combine effectively, it all sounds a bit confused and lacking in synergy here. Eventually, harsh, growled vocals join the party courtesy of Pain. When the two styles combine, it works fairly well, but on the whole, the classical wailing seems overdone. The album would, I feel, benefit from a more sparing use of this style, as it too often completely overwhelms the music.

'Season of Grief' sounds best when Horrorgraphy dispense with some of the excess that detracts from their work, and just let loose. 'The March of the Dead' goes straight in for the kill. No preamble, no '80s horror keyboard effects and no wailing soprano vocals; just vicious Death-Doom carnage. It doesn't quite keep up the pace for the full track, but the embellishments are kept to a more palatable minimum. It's certainly the most powerful track on the album and demonstrates that less very often can be more. The mix of vocalists and excessive use of schlock horror keyboard wears thin when used too liberally, and too often on the album their use strays from the interesting to being dangerously close to irritating.

After a mostly patchy album, 'Season of Grief' does actually find at least some form of redemption with the genuinely impressive final track, a cover of 'The Rise of Sodom and Gomorrah', an atmospheric number that finds the right balance between brutality and Gothic nuances, but sadly it's a case of too little too late. It's a debut album that shows some promise, and does deliver in patches here and there, but overall, it's all a little too muddled with too much going on, not all of it good.

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Reviewer's rating: 5/10


Tracklist :
1. In A Dark Time
2. Ghosts
3. Haunted
4. The March Of The Dead
5. Hounds Of Hell
6. Her Violin Sings At Night
7. Join Me In Suicide
8. Season Of Grief
9. The Rise Of Sodom And Gomorrah (Therion cover)

Duration : Approx. 60 minutes

Visit the Horrorgraphy bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-05-09 by Nick Harkins
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