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Cadaveria: Horror Metal Undead Edition

I have a soft spot for this album, mostly because it was one of my first reviews for this website. With this re-issue, the band offers listeners remixes of two tracks (see track listing below). There isn't much new here, but the remix of "Hypnotic Psychosis" is shorter, tighter, and better. Knowing that I risk of being too long winded, I figured I'd repost my original review and then offer a few summary comments in the last paragraph.

Here's what I originally wrote: Cadaveria is an extreme heavy metal band founded in 2001 by two former members of Opera IX—Cadaveria (vocals) and Flegias (aka, Macelo Santos, Drums). Joining them are Frank Booth (Guitar), Baron Harkonnen (Keyboards), and Killer Bob (Bass). For those unfamiliar with their work, they have released three CDs so far: The Shadows' Madame (2002), Far Away from Conformity (2004), and In Your Blood (2007). Their fourth release, Horror Metal¸ attempts to take what they have already done and make it flashier. What listeners receive is largely a heavy metal hybrid of styles that includes, but is not limited to, elements of death, thrash, symphonic, and doom. The result is a little like Dr. Frankenstein's monster—an odd-shaped creature that represents a mass of feelings and emotions, ranging from ugly, horrific, frightening and, at times, offering slight hints at something beautiful.

For me, the best thing about this release is Cadaveria's vocals. She is capable of great range, from her severe raspy, guttural, growl, to her more traditional, classically-inspired, style that brings a nice contrast to the consistent rhythmic pounding of the band. In a track like "This is Not the Silence," listeners will hear how well these two styles can blend together. I was also impressed with the concluding song, "Hypnotic Psychosis," which uses the band's hybrid mixture of metal styles to good effect. The band plays well throughout and they sound great, but the overall musical experience was a little monotonous at times. I think established fans of Cadaveria will find plenty to enjoy here. My own favorite track was "The Oracle (Of the Fog)," mostly because it began with a solid, guitar-driven introduction and moved through enough of a range of sounds, both vocally and musically, to attract interest. "The Oracle (Of the Fog)" captures the essence of Cadaveria's overall sound on this recording. I was also drawn to "The Days of the After and Behind," particularly the echoing, nearly jangling, guitar parts that made up the last few minutes. Those who are willing to give Horror Metal a couple of listens to peel back all the musical layers will find some good writing here.

Does Horror Metal work? Not quite. Even its cover, where the male members are dressed like the undead and Cadaveria like a Gothic matron, is too campy to get the attention it really deserves. It's one of those recordings that too self-consciously names itself as something new. Sometimes it's better to let listeners name the style rather than to have it come proclaimed through the title. Horror's connection to metal has always been well-known, anyway. Didn't Black Sabbath take its name from a horror movie? Horror literature and film rightly belongs within heavy metal, but I'd like to see these influences come through the music more than in its presentation.

Listening to this album again, I find myself mostly feeling the same way about it as I did all those months ago. It's generally pretty good, but it was never something I put in regular rotation. I still really like "The Oracle (Of the Fog) and think that the remix of "Hypnotic Psychosis" is genuinely better than the original, mostly because it drops the unnecessary introduction and just dives into the music. This band seems to be trying awfully hard to keep their name in front of the fans. They've been out of the scene since roughly 2007 and want to demonstrate that they are a genuine contender in a highly competitive market. In the next few weeks, Cadaveria will also re-issue their first album The Shadows' Madame, another pretty good release that features fan favorites "Spell" and "Circle of Eternal Becoming."

Track Listing:
1. Flowers in Fire
2. The Night's Theatre
3. Death Vision
4. Whispers of Sin
5. Assassin
6. The Days of the After and Behind
7. Apocalypse
8. The Oracle (Of The Fog)
9. Requiem
10. This is Not the Silence
11. Hypnotic Psychosis
12. Whispers of Sin (Ancestral Remix)
13. Hypnotic Psychosis (Chaotic Remix)

Added: June 26th 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3200
Language: english

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