颠覆M / Ego Fall - 蒙古精神 / Spirit of Mongolia (2008) - Folk majesty, gothic atmosphere, metalcore energy - 90% (03/12/12)
Here comes another big surprise. I have never been at all into the metalcore genre and was quite surprised when I stumbled over the very convincing debut record of the rather unknown Chinese band 塔罗圣徒 or Tarot Saint a few months ago that mixed modern metalcore with Chinese folk elements and managed to create a quite balanced mixture of harder and softer passages. I didn't think about discovering anything as good from this genre anytime soon but 颠覆M or Ego Fall from Inner Mongolia proved me wrong and made me realize once again that China is a promising metal developing country any fan should have on the map.
With their debut release 蒙古精神 or Spirit of Mongolia the band does all those things right that already made me appreciate Tarot Saint. The record includes many inspiring new age and traditional Chinese folk samples but especially the great Mongolian overtone singing used here and there made my day on this release as it's very well performed and perfectly integrated into the modern sound shapes. The opener "蒙古精神" or "The Spirit Of Mongolia" convinces with a gripping introduction and the catchy "神圣图腾" or "Sacred Totem" could also be cited as an example with well used folk elements.
The thing that distinguishes this band even more from their genre colleagues is the slight Gothic Metal touch in several tracks that reminds me a little bit of the legendary German band Crematory. This is due to some symphonic keyboard infleunces and a few modern electronic samples that create a rather eerie atmosphere. A great example is the track "乱世的规则" or "The Rule In Troubled Times". "镇魂歌" or "Requiem" hits even harder as this song employs a perfect mixture of harsh death metal influenced vocals and melodic clean vocals. These two tracks could even get some airplay in gothic scene clubs if this band was only a little bit more famous outside of its own country.
In my opinion, the strongest track on this release would probably be "深渊的回响" or "Echo From The Abyss" that mixes all elements I have mentioned before. It includes fast riffs as well as calmer moments dominated by symphonic keyboard passages that never sound cheap as the production of this record is surprisingly solid. A few harsher grunts meet amazing clean vocals that are performed with a lot of emotions. The track also has a break towards the end that is dominated by laid back acoustic guitars and a very diverisfied tribal drumming that bring us back to mind where this band actually comes from. The fusion of these multiple genres sounds very coherent and is perfectly resumed in only five minutes.
In the end, this record could please to a lot of metal fans. It has enough folk passages to sound exotic, multiple metalcore elements to sound crunchy and modern and quite a lot of gothic moments to add a certain atmosphere to this profound record. That's why I would actually even put this release above the great first strike of Tarot Saint. I hope this band gets some more credit and an international record deal or distribution to rise to fame. If metalcore would actually always sound as open-minded like this, it would be one of my favourite genres. Try this out to see if the record has the same impact on you as it actually had on me.« Chthonic 閃靈 - 祖靈之流 / Where the Ancestors' Souls Gathered (1999) - The ideas are there but the transitions are not - 70% (03/12/12)রক্স্টার্টা / RockStrata - রক্স্টার্টা / RockStrata (1990) - Heavy metal pioneers from Bangladesh - 74% (03/12/12) »
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