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Another Messiah : Dark Dreams, My Child

Sometimes things in music are that simple: a single standout element can lift an ok, but otherwise average musical whole to above average heights. This seems to be the case with this band from The Netherlands. No listener will fail to notice singer Robbie’s emotional oboe playing, which adds an extra, almost classical touch to the whole, perhaps similarly to the way Martin Powell’s violin playing used to be the point of reference in early My Dying Bride.

Calling Another Messiah a doom band would probably do injustice to their varied musical proposition. Opener ‘These lonely eyes’, the standout track on this album, may put the listener on the wrong foot: a heavy doom/death opening sequence gives way to a dazzling, processed oboe solo, which is unlike most things you will ever hear in the metal genre. The rest of the song continues with excellent guitar riffs and dynamically convincing alternations between quieter and more brutal parts.

The rest of the tracks don’t always follow similar musical paths and each of them has something different to offer individually. Singer Robbie employs a variety of vocal styles throughout the album, ranging from deep grunts and screams to whispery and clean singing, including what some people might call ‘emocore’ vocals. One could argue that some of his vocal experiments are more successful than others. His deep grunts are usually paired with brutal guitar work and powerful drum pounding and the beautiful oboe lines only add more substance to the whole. However, I’m less impressed with the emo style clean vocals, which are usually paired with calmer, semi-acoustic parts or even jumpy, nu-metallish riffs such as towards the end of the track ‘And now I will’. I think that this musical approach is difficult to reconcile (if not incompatible) with the darker, heavier parts of their sound and the semi classical oboe playing. Moreover, although Robbie’s clean voice is absolutely fine, the clean vocal lines are much less interesting than his inventive oboe playing.

The band definitely deserve some merit for the fact that rather than blindly following the current musical trends, they are courageous enough to experiment with blending several musical styles. I would argue that this mix doesn’t sound yet seemless and there is still some work to do in terms of developing their musical identity further. However, this release is fine enough as it is and I expect it to appeal to several doom metal fans (and much more to non doom fans).

Contact the band through their website at www.anothermessiah.com

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. These lonely eyes
2. And now I will
3. My God it’s him
4. I never noticed
5. Sweet dreams
6. She softly starts to cry
7. Dead man walking
8. Left to die
9. The Queen Bee

Duration : Approx. 45 minutes

Visit the Another Messiah bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kostas Panagiotou
Thermal Mass
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