It is only two songs that make the first demo from the Gothic Finns of SERENE DECAY, yet upon evaluating "Shores Of Memory" and "In Vain", I can say that the land of Santa Claus and the Moomins has another very interesting and promising act on the Metal scene.
The music of this quintet is mostly based on heavy melodic (this word being almost inseparably connected to Finnish Metal) guitars combined with even more melodic vocal lines. JP, who takes care of the singing section does his work really good and is definitely one of the strongest points in this ensemble. The guy does not try to impress female Metal fans with any over-sentimental performance but operates with a strong voice bestowing both compositions with a considerable dosage of power and emotions. The way he produces certain shouted lines reminds me of Tomi Joutsen of AMORPHIS and this is as a matter of fact not the only thing which brings to mind associations with the authors of “Tales From The Thousand Lakes”. There are namely many guitar sequences here where you can clearly hear inspiration from AMORPHIS’ two recent albums. Surely enough, the nostalgic sounds generated by the lead guitar will be among the most appealing features of “Serene Decay”.
About the rhythmic section there is not so much to say apart from that it fulfils its duties in a very proper way. Not surprisingly – as regards Gothic Metal – you will not find here any intricate rhythms played by the drum department nor any other features that would make a percussion freak’s heart palpitate at a more faster rate.
Every track has a very simple, traditional verse-chorus structure, which actually does not either come as any kind of surprise in the genre I am talking about right at the moment. Of course the Finnish musicians have taken care of preparing memorable melodic choruses, which are full of energy and far from being tacky.
I am wondering now whether their future records will be equally good for this would mean that SERENE DECAY deserve being classified among the most interesting young Goth Metal bands. Do not hesitate to check these guys' music if only you are looking for some good-quality melodic stuff.
(Online September 9, 2008)