郁 / Die From Sorrow - 日落伊甸园 / Sunset Eden (2009) - Modern melodic death metal at its best - 96% (02/02/13)
Die From Sorrow or 郁 is a melodic death metal band from Beijing that convinces quite a lot with its first official release in form of this four track EP. The five guys play very melody and hook orientated music with catchy but never too soft keyboard passages, many twin guitar solos that hail the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and energizing vocals that find the right way between slight agression and a melodic approach that helps us to actually understand the lyrics. The band has nevertheless a tight and modern sound and could please to a larger crowd outside of the metal scene as well. If you like the catchier stuff of Children of Bodom or In Flames, you should definitely check this band out even though old school genre fans might think this approach is some sort of treason or sellout but this is a very closed minded attitude as well.
Let's go quickly through the four tracks. The opener "与我无关 / It's Not Me" includes atmospheric keyboard passages that remind me of the German new wave movement of the eighties. This sounds strange but it actually works. Melodic guitars kick in and meet thrash metal orientated riffs. This complementary contrast works very well. The vocals are mean and energizing but don't take too much space. The great musicianship really stands out in here. It includes slowed down breaks as well as faster passages with thundering drums and a pumping bass guitar. The long guitar solo should please to any heavy metal fan and put a big smile on your face as it's perfectly executed. That's quite a great way to kick a record off with and the band is already on one level or even one step above a band such as Children of Bodom that clearly inspired this track.
The next track is "日落伊甸园 / Sunset Eden" that also has these atmospheric new wave keyboard influences. If you liked the opener, you will also dig this track as they are rather similar. This song has maybe even more heavy metal inspired rhythm and melodic riffs. The vocals are more variable than in the opener and the chorus is a true little anthem. The track includes an interesting symphonic middle part that could also come from a band of the European power metal genre such as Blind Guardian. It gives the song an unexpected and epic touch and works rather well. There is even a short female narrative passage towards the end of the band's longest song. After all, this song never gets boring and is definitely my favourite track on here and quite close to perfection.
Up next is "郁郁而终 / Die From Sorrow" that convinces once again with longing melodic guitar riffs and mysterious keyboard passages. The lyrics of this track are entirely in English and not in Mandarin Chinese and give the song a different feeling. The vocals are more melodic and one moves a little bit away from the melodic death metal genre towards a more modern approach. The epic chorus with background choirs gives the song nevertheless a little old school atmosphere and reminds me of the hard rock and heavy metal music of the early eighties. If the band had to choose a single out of the four tracks, this song would be the perfect pick.
Last but not least comes the bautifully entitled "仙女座 / Andromeda" that feels once again like a Children of Bodom track. It's fast and has more agressive vocals but on the other side, it includes melodic guitar solos and dominant keyboard passages once again. It's quite a neckbreaker and a song that should work very well live. The gripping chorus is once again quite epic and heavy metal orientated with a more grounded voice.
In the end, the band doesn't reinvent the genre and is clearly inspired by a multituide of similar bands and genre colleagues such as Children of Bodom but they execute their four songs in a perfect way. These tracks have grown and grown on me and mix instrumental inspiration, passionate energy and catchy choruses and hooks I can't get out of my mind. The EP sounds perfectly coherent but never too predictable. That's why this talented band is worth your attention and time and why I choose such an elevated rating. I'm really looking forward to listen to the band's full length release if I am able to get my hands on it.« United Mind Club - World Blood History (2012) (10/10)Pieta (2012) - The surreal ending is a letdown for the cold realism of this dark drama - 7/10 (03/02/13) »
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