复活 / Resurrection - 国殇 / National Martyr (2006) - Great epics and convincing bonus tracks - 71% (07/02/13)
复活 or Resurrection is an extreme metal band from Nanjing in the Jiangsu province. The band plays quite fast and pitiless speed or thrash metal with vocals that head for a blackened approach but also for loads of death metal moments at other moments. The only more laid back moments on the album are the relaxing "Intro", the chilling regular album closer "Elegy" and the surprisingly progressive and diversified album highlight "Calling From Nether World".
The band definitely has some technical abilities and employs many crunching guitar riffs and quickly changing drum patterns. A big problem is though the sound of this low budget production. Especially the drum sound is very amateurish and limited. It sounds too dry and artificial. On the other side, there are a few unnecessary echo sounds as well. The bass sound also lacks of gripping dynamics. Interesting parts as the opening moments of the epic "Battle of Nayahuo" suffer the most from that limited sound that might though please to old school extreme metal purists. Even the guitar sound is quite thin as soon as we hear both of these instruments playing something different. In modern times, I though expect better standards and an improved sound would have made this release a lot more enjoyable. With a clearer production, this record would have been worth up to ten percent more than I have actually given to it.
Another criticial point is the lack of variation on this release. Apart of the very short opener and closer and the two epic tracks that dispaly some talent and a solid song writing, many tracks sound rather exchangeable and closed minded. These songs are good stuff for hours of agression and despair but they don't fit to the mostly historically inspired epic lyrics at all.
A great little gem are though the three bonus tracks on this release that have been taken from an older demo. These tracks are inspired by solid traditional Skandinavian death metal and have very intense vocals. Some of these songs also include calmer interludes and slightly progressive breaks such as "Ceremonious Funeral" or my personal favourite "Edge of Night". The sound is sometimes rather chaotic and the bass guitar is quite inaudible but the drum and guitar sound is overall even more appropriated than the tracks of the regular studio release which came as a big surprise to me. Personally, I like the sound and style of these three bonus songs a lot more than the actual material.
In the end, there are a lot of lights and shades on this release. I would cite the epic tracks as well as teh bonus material as highlights with apromising song writing and a few great ideas. On the negative side there are too many exchangeable song and a rather bad production and sound. Extreme metal experts and fans should though grab this exotic gem and won't be disappointed. Any rathe roccasional genre fan can skip this release without any bad conscience and should rather head for more professional Chinese extreme metal releases coming from bands such as Ego Fall, Screaming Savior, Suffocated, Terminal Lost, Voodoo Kungfu and so on.« Holy Dragons - Волки Одина / Wolves Of Odin (2005) - Inconsistent song writing with three highlights - 75% (07/02/13)Zindan - Depth (2010) - Positive effects of the metal globalization - 81% (07/02/13) »
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