As we all know, a band from Finland has about a 4/5s chance of being sad or morose or melancholic or whatever word you want to use to describe it. As we also know, the whole vile “Love Metal” craze erupted in Finland thanks to H.I.M. and endless emulators like TO/DIE/FOR, POISONBLACK, ENTWINE, and FOR MY PAIN…. Today, we have a somewhat curious off-shoot of the genre in the debuting DEADLIGHT. “Melucine” is their first offering and paints a picture of a band with a bit of an identity crisis.
Encyclopedia Metallica unhelpfully classifies them as Atmospheric Doom. There’s nothing really Doomy here; I mean, sure, they’re sad, but it’s more the angst one expects from modern LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE rather than the sorrow of old LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE. The closest I could get for a comparison would be the first two TO/DIE/FOR albums (and maybe later ones, I dunno, that’s where I gave up), but without their ‘80s Goth Rock influence, instead substituting maybe some sort of unadventurous British indy rock. Don’t ask me, I don’t always understand my thoughts either. Maybe I’m just being confused by Juha Tretjakov’s (also of THALES) vocals, which make me think Britain.
Anyway, vague synapse firings aside, the band is also distinctly apart from the Love Metal camp. “Irresolute” has some parts that would have been passed for Death Metal a decade and a half ago, while both "Into The Blackened Soil” and “Her Eyes Passed On” characterized by nice acoustic work under the chorus. The bookending songs are a bit more typical, though. The music is more aggressive, but never in a way that really obviates itself.
So it’s odd. DEADLIGHT’s heart is in the Love Metal camp (which is bad), but it wears its skin in in a pleasingly different way (which is good). Still, it’s never a perfectly comfortable combination and at times you wonder which way it will go. “Melucine” is practically a promise that the band will change one way or the other, but at the moment I can’t say which way it will go. For now, call it a tepid recommendation to wait and see.
(Online October 21, 2007)