Although primarily associated with Sweden, melodeath has over the last couple of years found an additional home turf in the form of Finland, which has spawned a considerable amount of melodic death metal bands. One of the more underground melodeath bands of Finland is Saint of Disgrace, whose third EP For My Pain was released earlier this fall.
While not exactly original, the music on For My Pain nonetheless has a lot of positive things to offer. First and foremost it features the upbeat type of riffage that characterizes melodeath as a genre, and in addition there are a lot of really nice and catchy guitar leads scattered all over the EP, as heard in 'Blood of a Saint' as well as some crushing riffs as heard in 'For My Pain'. What might be a turn-off to some and a turn-on to others is the band's use of keyboards, most prominently featured in 'Epica' but ubiquitous on the entire EP. 'Epica' also features some clean female vocals, which, I must admit are a welcome break from the, to my ears, mildly annoying male harsh vocals that otherwise dominate the EP. These vocals are more in the vein of deathcore, and I would say that, if not deathcore, then at least melodic metalcore, is a central feature of Saint of Disgrace's sound, as metalcore-styled breakdowns do occur on the EP (fortunately, they are not as contrived as what you hear on many all out death- and metalcore releases).
In all, I think that Saint of Disgrace have done a good job on this EP. It will primarily appeal to fans of melodeath and melodic metalcore with an epic twist. Fans of At The Gates styled, less poppy melodeath, will probably not like it. But, for a release within its genre, the EP is definitely quite good and, to my ears, an enjoyable listen.
1. Blood of a Saint
2. For My Pain