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Searing Meadow: Corroding from Inside

After releasing a bunch of demo recordings since their inception in 1999, Finnish band Searing Meadow have released their debut album Corroding from Inside on Crash Music. Despite numerous Amorphis comparisons made in reviews, Searing Meadow plays a more straightforward and melodic style of midtempo death metal. The music is driven heavily by repetitive guitar riffs that sometimes feature long, drawn-out passages over which vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist Mika Ikonen lays down semi-growled vocals. His vocals serve their purpose despite the weak mix. His tone is a bit drowned out by the guitar and bass, but it's no big deal. He tries to use his vocals in as many different styles as possible, which he succeeds in to a certain extent, but overall his singing is a bit too one-dimensional. Then again, so is the music itself, so maybe it was an intentional move on the band's part. He sounds a little like Taneli Jarva from Sentenced during their mid-90's period, though not quite as effective I have to add.

The shorter tunes display the band's more direct, in-your-face type of playing with very melodic twin guitar lines getting support from a competent drummer in the name of Antti Hakkala. His drumming on "Wasted Heroes" is quite impressive indeed. Searing Meadow might have drawn some Amorphis influences on their slower cuts such as "Another Savior" and "Infamous Lines". Both songs are a hybrid of Amorphis' Tales from the Thousand Lakes era and various Gothenburg bands. The acoustic folky intros with slow, cascading guitar riffs in the middle are the stronger sides of the band. Another acoustic breakdown can be heard on "Crystalblood" right after the heavily pronounced bass motif. I particularly enjoy the way they harmonized the bass and guitar. When bassist Ville Korhonen plays a cool bass line, the melody is immediately repeated, on guitar this time.

The almost tortured singing on "Mirror of Irony" brings another Finnish band Rapture to mind. I believe they should focus on using the piano and creating dark atmospheres like this a bit more since it really fits their sound. The brief acoustic guitar interlude on "Three Names of Denial" and the all-instrumental closing track find the band playing a melancholic and almost doomy style of metal that may separate them from most other extreme bands out there. There is plenty of room for growth for Searing Meadow, and only continued work can enhance their songwriting and musicianship.

Track Listing

  1. Wasted Heroes
  2. All Obvious
  3. Another Savior
  4. Infamous Lines
  5. Crystalblood
  6. Mirror of Irony
  7. These Evening Tears
  8. Fading to Silhouette
  9. Blame the Nihilist
  10. Three Names for Denial
  11. One Phase of Distant Clarity
  12. Fading to Silhouette (Pt.2)

Added: July 24th 2005
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: Band website
Hits: 2915
Language: english

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