Gothic Metal from Taiwan… Didn't we have something like that before? Yes, with the SERAPHIM debut "The Soul That Never Dies" last year, which I really liked. Now I was happy when I saw the big envelope from Taipei in my mailbox and when I opened it, the surprise was even bigger, everything in Taiwanese…
So far not a problem, I also have CDs completely in Russian, but with Taiwanese the problem starts with the song titles or the album title alone! Thanks to the internet I could find the translations for both, so I can at least present you that. Lucky me! I mean, which direction do you read those signs to begin with?
With the debut the booklet had been one of the big assets of SERAPHIM and that hasn't changed with "The Equal Spirit", very tasteful, mostly held in bluish, turquoise tones and artful photos, very thick as well, somebody put a lot of effort into that one! Oh, and not only the signs are in Taiwanese, no, female lead singer Pay (and I guess also the Death vox by bassist Jax) are in Taiwanese, too! Not that you would understand too much of either anyway…
Musically not much has changed either, SERAPHIM still play Gothic Metal with mostly operatic vocals and some occasional Death vox, but contrary to many other bands of this style with a heavy list towards classical Heavy Metal, which is a nice change and definitely also caters to my personal likings. Especially "Song Of Death" and the double bass breaker "Last Memory" fall into this category, those drums and guitars can expertly dismantle the furniture in your room!
But the Taiwanese quintet also has some more progressive elements on offer, which show themselves in some a bit less easy digestible guitar and melody lines, which may sound a tad bit quirky to the straight forward ear, but on the other hand also add some more originality to the sound.
Overall I'd say that SERAPHIM have managed to follow up "The Soul That Never Dies" with an album that roughly falls into the same category, both package, music and quality wise, so even without any exotic bonus this is some quality stuff for people, who like their Gothic Metal a bit different. (Online May 11, 2003)