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Artrosis: In The Flower's Shade

Poland's Artrosis is a goth metal act, with more or less the standard metal lineup, and interesting female vocals from Magdalena Dobosz-Stupkiewicz - who goes by the much simpler 'Medeah'.  Her vocals run the gamut on this recording - , most often in the upper mid-ranges, often high-pitched and ethereal and sounding something like Ephemeral Sun's Laure Ann Haus, she's almost operatic in a few spots, there are mid-ranged sections in a strong Dolores O'Riordan (Cranberries) style.  The lyrics are in English, and there's almost no discernable accent.  But it wasn't always that way.  Posród Kwiatów I Cieni was released in 1999, and In The Flower's Shade - in 2000 - is the English-language version of the same record.

Although most of the music revolves around Medeah's singing, there are occasional instrumental sections that are well executed and melodic. You might feel that more instrumental sections would be welcome, though.  Songwriting - courtesy of keyboardist @@@ - is progressive with good tempo shifts and little evidence of verse/chorus/verse, and the instrumentation ranges from straight-ahead old-fashioned hard rock to well layered keyboard-rich sections punctuated by pleasing guitar work.  Many sections feature very prominent drumming, which is a little surprising since the band doesn't employ a drummer - it's all programmed percussion.  Very well programmed, but the organic realism of a real drummer always trumps a box of electronics.

"We", the second last song, is an 8-minute piece, that features one of those stupidly annoying 2-minute silences before revealing a pleasant hidden track.  "Morpheus" has industrial-sounding bottom end, and "Q" (it's actually the female symbol - you know, the O with a plus-sign below it) is a pleasing, guitar-rich piece with probably the longest all-instrumental section on the CD - and definitely the standout track on the record. Other notables are the opening pair, "Unreal Story" I and II.

There's nothing new in In The Flower's Shade - you've heard it all before - but it's well executed, and certainly earns Artrosis a place among the better artists in the genre.


Track Listing:
1. Unreal Story I
2. Unreal Story II
3. White Page
4. Mezczyzna (male)
5. And I Will
6. Morpheus
7. Among Flowers And Shadows
8. The Following Chapter
9. Kobieta (female)
10.Two Ways

Added: September 1st 2006
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: Artrosis's Web Site
Hits: 3084
Language: english

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