The Finnish quintet GOTHAM O.D released this album in March 2010. The style offered points in several different directions and I am not sure if they can be put entirely into one genre. The term Gothic Rock/Metal is one that I have seen used about this band, and that seems reasonably accurate, but I still feel that there is a lot more to the sound of this band than only Gothic influences. I would describe this as a mix between Gothic Metal, recent SONATA ARCTICA and American Heavy Rock.
There is something distinctly sad in the feeling of the music and I hear riffs and melodies that remind me of bands such as LAKE OF TEARS and TYPE O NEGATIVE and that accounts for the Gothic branding. When it comes to SONATA ARCTICA, both the melodic parts and some of the vocals give me the feeling that I’m being confronted with Tony Kakko and his band, but it may be something generally Finnish. One reason could be that the vocalist Ilkka has the same way of pronouncing English as Tony Kakko.
When it comes to American Heavy Rock, I am not as sure why I feel that way. There is more Blues in the rhythms than in many Metal bands’ music and the straight-forward heaviness of Metal is not always present on the record. When I mention an American influence, I mean a general sound that American Metal often features, but I cannot really define what it is.
Alright, we have established that GOTHAM O.D use Gothic influences and melodic parts mixed with Rock riffs and sad vocals to create Gothic Metal with influences from the US as well as from their native Finland.
How good is it then?
Well, the whole album is really easy to listen to and no-one should despise this album. Some of the songs are pretty good, like the heavy “Mea Gloria Fides” and “My Reflection” and “I Will Prevail," which both feature good, melodic choruses.
Overall though, I feel that the album contains too few highlights and drags a bit. Unlike other albums with this problem, “Disbeliever” does not annoy me during the last songs, but I lose interest and find my thoughts straying.
The problems are that the tempo is too low, the riffing is too uninteresting and the songs are not varied enough, especially vocally. I do have a hard time appreciating this particular kind of musical melancholy, as I feel it lacks energy. Fans of TYPE O NEGATIVE, the new SONATA ARCTICA, PARADISE LOST and Dark Rock may still enjoy this, but I am not converted.
(Online November 2, 2010)