Now this is an odd little album. LONGED FOR FUSION has given us a mixture of Gothic and Melodic Metal that seeks to avoid these labels by down-tuning the guitars enough to invite comparisons to Modern Metal. And just to invalidate that description, occasionally they’ll throw in something that sounds like an “Aégis”-era THEATRE OF TRAGEDY B-side (see the title track).
“Salvation” is the first release by this German four-piece. The band was formed in 2005 in Neubrandenburg and are apparently making themselves known through a busy touring schedule. They entered the studio in late 2006 and the result was “Salvation.” Since it is a debut album on a rather small label, it’s understandable that they don’t have the best production in the world, though it could quite honestly be much worse.
“Sleepless in A Nightmare,” the opener, doesn’t really seem to quite fit with the rest of the album. The guitars are more caustic and I can’t help but think of what would have had MADDER MORTEM’s “Necropol Lit” been played by a Nu Metal band. You immediately notice vocalist Jenny Herbold, who gives her toughest performance of the album on this track. I didn’t think I’d be making so many comparisons to MADDER MORTEM, but on this track she does sound a bit like Agnete M. Kirkevaarg. Okay, that’s too much type one song, but after this LONGED FOR FUSION settles on a more Melodic-Gothic sound with the occasional outbursts of more aggressive guitars. Herbold’s performance becomes more normal for the style, but certainly never in the gossamer soprano range—Tatjana Laboda of VICIOUS CRUSADE is probably the best comparison. Her keyboards after the first track remind one of mid-period CREMATORY.
The rest of the band can also shine. Drummer Christian Eggers gives us some really nice drum fills on “Prologue” that caught my ear (unusual for a drummer), while there’s this brilliant, VIRGIN BLACK-esque passage in “Prophecy Part I” that sees lead guitarist Ewald Penz just pour his soul out in a mournful solo over Herbold’s piano (they try to repeat it in “Resurrection” but it’s not quite as good here). Finally, rhythm guitarist Martin Schultz provides the occasional backup vocal that ranges from a deep growl to an artfully subdued clean style reminiscent of Dan Swanö in THERION. The opening for “Resurrection” could be in a Viking Metal band before taking off in an almost INTERITUS DEI direction.
Looking back at this review, the big point to take away seems to be that LONGED FOR FUSION reminds the listener of a lot of other bands, but they are good bands and they are combined in ways you don’t always expect. It’s clear that this is a debut album, but it’s a very good one. I have to say that I’m excited and intrigued. Fans of Progressive, Melodic, and Gothic Metal (the Gothic sound, not the pageantry) shouldn’t hesitate in looking this band up.
(Online July 12, 2007)