When I had seen the name Ebony Tears on the envelope and then also the CD for the first time, I had already hoped for a new CD of the Swedes and that they might have returned to their glorious "Tortura Insomniae" album. But no, Ebony Tears is the name of a new sub-label of Coldblood Industries and SHADOWS DANCE is the name of the band. And what this Greek trio presents here doesn't make my life as reviewer easy at all!
Basis most probably is some sort of Gothic Metal, where some Black and Death Metal are induced as well as several electronic elements, almost THERION-esque choirs (ok, not as big and not as good) and also a certain progressiveness, meaning that there are a few pretty abrupt breaks that at times catch you on the wrong foot completely. Easily digestible this is not.
But that doesn't have to mean that SHADOWS DANCE do not have enough quality to convince the reviewer, right? Exactly. And there I am not really sure either, where I stand in the case of "A Quatrain For The Damned" (what a title...what is a "quatrain"?), because the material partly is quite confusing, if I may say that like that. On the one side we have very catchy and melodic, at times almost bordering on kitsch, Gothic Rock/Metal, then, as at the beginning of "Until The Young Whore Sings", a hefty Death/Thrash attack breaks through, which in turn is replaced by these choirs, a mix that depending on your state of mind could be either viewed as original and progressive (in terms of progress) or as confusing and aimless. The truth, I guess, stands somewhere in between and look different for each individual.
The Greeks also use a violin, just like a children's choir and a drum computer that mostly is programmed pretty well and only rarely starts to annoy, which is a definite plus here. The songs are well arranged as well, if the style mix that they process doesn't get too much for you, I have to add. I have thought long and hard, if I should try to get into single songs, but then decided against it, as they all are pretty different from each other, so that it wouldn't make much sense. Oh yes, I almost forgot that there also are pretty prominent guest musicians, members of their country(wo)men SEPTIC FLESH and ASTARTE!
If you want to call the whole thing innovative or put down the single elements as heard often before, will in the end be your personal decision, I personally must say that the CD has grown with repeated listens, but still in its nature is nothing that I could (or would want to) listen to every day. (Online January 25, 2003)