A pack of six Italians from Naples spread their visions about some of the most fundamental issues in the history of humanity like love and loneliness. That is fine with me even though this might sound utterly clichéd, after all one can always expect a portion of good music, even from a Goth/Prog Metal band exploring the mentioned topics in their lyrics. Well, actually it is here a real problem starts. The music they deliver seems to be at least as unoriginal as their source of inspiration for the texts, something that is extra painful when you realize the whole album is more than an hour long.
It started very promising though. The combination of Progressive and Gothic Metal has been something I have been pretty fond of during the past months so the opportunity of listening to a group dealing with this kind of playing was more than attractive. Additionally, the note about the mastering process by Mika Jussila made me rather sure the album sound would be solid. The first song which is something on the verge between an intro and a regular tune has a pretty positive vibe setting me in an even better mood than the seconds just before pushing the play button on my stereo. Mid-tempo, rich synthesizer arrangements, somewhat delicate guitar playing matching perfectly the electronic sounds of the synths, pulsating and a bit unsettled bass lines and a strong, clear vocal that in the end reminds me of one of SOLEFALD’s throats. Swiftly we go over to “Noumena”, which begins in a truly Progressive way in which one can feel some trace of OPETH’s tranquil works. After a while everything gets a bit faster, the drumming becomes more intense and so are the guitar efforts, still it is Elia Daniele’s interesting vocal lines that seem to be in the foreground here. The track’s very catchy chorus makes it one of the best moment of the album. Whereas the diverse arrangements the band is using in this composition might be appealing, what we can hear later on in the title track is simply over the top. Just take a look at the second part including a passage as if taken directly from a cabaret show. Perhaps that is the most original moment on the album, though it sounds somewhat tacky. Elia’s vocal efforts slowly start to become worn out and while I somehow did not have anything against these in the first songs of “Mother Madness” I soon realised their modern feeling typical for some Nu-Metal or even certain American Rock/Pop bands is not something that works with me on the long run (actually this feeling can be experienced also in several guitar or keys sequences).
From this moment on I have a feeling that the band are playing one very long song whose particular fragments are not much different form each other. There are admittedly certain positive bits here in the form of a number of passages in “Be(For(Ev(H)er))” (perhaps the most entertaining chorus part of this album) or the following composition called “Disillusion”, but this is too little for me. This does not mean I claim that the band are total losers on the song-writing field. No matter how uninspired their music might tend you can often hear they have plenty of ideas, however, their main problem is that they somehow can not utilize these ideas in a proper way, which usually in their case results in bland compositions quickly evaporating from your memory.
The album sound is warm and polished fitting well the standards of modern Metal. On the other hand, this “nice” production deprives certain moments on the CD of some energy. I guess it would not make the final sound inconsistent if for instance a few guitar parts were a bit more emphasized.
While the debut from WINTER OF LIFE is not an utter rubbish and while the guys show potential, the overall repetitiveness of this material as well as some traces of cheesy mainstream Rock simply put me off. Perhaps their next release will prove that they have skills to write good stuff. Keep on working guys!
(Online June 6, 2009)