Last time I slammed Finnish Gothic Metal was when I reviewed FOR MY PAIN’s debut album back in spring 2003 (at Urkraft Webzine). It wasn’t bad at all but my complaint was that there were too many bands that tried to update and renew this sound. You want names I assume: RAPTURE, LULLACRY, POISONBLACK, H.I.M., TO DIE FOR, SILENTIUM, CHARON, SENTENCED and let’s not forget FOR MY PAIN plus a handful more; while all these bands are enjoyable to some extent, one being a historical classic (guess who) and aren’t blatant copies of each other, the similarities are there and only few have the guts to do something that sheds just a little bit of peculiarity to the sound.
Now, approximately one year after my bitching about this issue ENTWINE release an album that might have fallen victim to this debate but doesn’t. I didn’t like the album from the beginning but as I gave it endless space to roam I came to like it more and more.
Where to begin, well, ENTWINE have a well balanced sound and potential commercialism (in the gothic sense) with their up tempo catchiness and small sparks of suicidal haunting. That’s not far from the sound of any of the bands mentioned above, but having progressed as musicians and been a part of the scene for a decade now, I’d rather defend their sound instead of passing negative judgement just because I don’t want to give the album a chance.
You might have guessed that ENTWINE play Gothic Rock/Metal and you’re right. Most of the songs are interesting and powerful, the choruses and vocals of Mika Tauriainen have the biggest impact on the listener. The first track and first single “Bitter Sweet” is a successful homerun for the band, definitely mainstream sounding but with this cruel and bitter atmosphere being an integral part of the song. “Someone To Blame” comes off the same shelf, maybe more aggressive but still catchy and choruses still have a strong mainstream feel to them. “Bleeding For The Cure” brings the first signs of variability, slower with melancholic verses and clever violin playing together with heavy guitars, picture MY DYING BRIDE without harsh vocals and dropping a few loads of Doom Metal and you’ll get the idea.
Not all songs are of same quality. Often the choruses tend to carry the songs and the rest of the build up ends up being less interesting. Two tracks that definitely brings delight to my ears are “Refill My Soul” and “Everything For You”; the first is not so different from the rest of the up tempo songs but the chorus just rocks my world, the latter has a more doomy orientation and sticks to slow tempos.
“Dieversity” is blessed with a sonically brilliant sound, the guitars are heavy and up-front but everything else is heard clearly, viva Finnvox Studio and Mikko Karmila!
It’s tricky to review a CD like this, it’s easy to write it but when it’s time to rate it I run into this huge wall I can’t pass; there are a lot of albums wearing the “musically good – musically not groundbreaking” mark, this album is good, not revolutionary, just good and damn infectious when you get to the choruses. I can only speak for myself in this matter, but if you like Finnish Metal, especially Gothic Metal I see no reason to let “Dieversity” pass you by. (Online April 7, 2004)