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By Blood Alone: Seas of Blood

Don't be fooled by the band's name or title of this CD-Portland Maine's By Blood Alone are not some deathly blackened thrash metal act by any means. Seas of Blood , despite being distributed by none other than Relapse Records, is about as far from extreme metal as you can get.This is majestic, often times gothic & Celtic, progressive rock music, with just enough heavy rock muscle to almost push things into the metal category. Leading the charge here is lead vocalist Cruella, whose clean & soaring delivery floats over the top of crunchy riffs and plenty of symphonic keyboards. Many of the arrangements are epic in scope, with lengthy tracks like "Serpentarius", "Nidhogg", "Lovely Lies", and "Deny Yourself" having a sort of Nightwish-meets-Deep Purple-meets-Ayreon feel to them, thanks to the layered vocals, raging keys, and heavy guitar riffs. The more tender pieces like "Undead Friend", "Little Lady Lillit", and the title track, don't impress quite as much, but still show a band that knows how to put together melodies and house with within an atmospheric & gothic framework. One thing needs to be mentioned, and that is that the production on this CD is fairly flat, and at times does this band a little bit of injustice. John Graveside's guitars never really seem to leap out at you, nor do the keyboard textures from Jenny Williamson. Cruella's vocals are mixed too high, and there's just not enough bombast in the mix to really drive these songs to the levels that they need to be at. It's a shame because I think the material warrants a more potent and symphonic production, and it didn't quite get it. I'm curious as to what one of the top-of-the-line producers in the progressive power/prog metal genre could have done here?

Seas of Blood shows a lot of promise, and it's pretty safe to say with a little seasoning and stronger production By Blood Alone have all the tools to someday compete with acts like Nightwish, Epica, Within Temptation, and After Forever.

Track Listing
1) Serpentarius
2) Wants Me Dead
3) Undead Friend
4) Nidhogg
5) Lovely Lies
6) Seas of Blood
7) Deny Yourself
8) Little Lady Lillit

Added: November 18th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2379
Language: english

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