Polish ARTROSIS have gone a long way since their first albums. My first contact had been the re-release of their 1998 album "W Imnie Nocy" in its English version "In Nomine Noctis". Back then it was Gothic Metal, and good one for sure. With the 2001 release "Fetish" they took a different route, with added electronics, loops, noises and similar stuff, while the guitar took a step into the background. Additionally Medeah also started with vocal experiments.
Now "Melange" has arrived and it takes up exactly, where "Fetish" had left off, in fact they even go one step further and more even farther away from what I originally had liked about them, incorporating even more of the newly found elements and experiments. The opener "In A Daze" is a representative of the "new" sound, with modern riffing and a somewhat danceable rhythm, while the following "In Low Spirits" sees some of the above mentioned elements incorporated, like subtle electronics and slightly distorted vocals, while we find unusual vocal-lines and melodies throughout the whole album, just like the electronics as well.
The problem of the album is that the compositions are dark and danceable, but to me do not get beyond average to good average, with stuff like the purely synthetic effects like the title track completely falling through with me. Also vocal experiments as in "Stone Infatuated" let my neck hair stand up.
So "Melange" is another proof that these electronics, vocal experiments and stuff are really incompatible to me, but I think that point already is proved enough… Mr. McKenna, this one is yours to dissect now… (Online January 26, 2003)