After a short break, a Finnish gothic metal band To/Die
/For released their new album with a very fitting name Samsara
. What would characterize a work of band which changed its name, had a break and returned to the scene with a great piece of work better than a Hindu expression for life, death and reincarnation? Apparently the band decided to show their musical reincarnation in the best light and came with an album which combines both nostalgia and the band's characteristic approach and sound. You don't find the release which still respects the original sound which was so characteristic for the very first gothic-labelled bands. However many modern influences are very laudable as well. No matter if it was an inspiration or intention or not, but very often the sound is more than similar to older Pain
From the very first moments of the album, specifically the song Kissing The Flames
it is more than clear that nothing about it is going to be minimalistic. Especially the use of the keys is more than skilled, but not only them are used to create the main melody, which is an annoying thing that many bands do. When you hear the keys, it is rather to enhance the atmosphere or to spice the song up. But there are more details that are rather unobtrusive yet can change the songs in a subtle yet precious way. It takes more than just one listening to notice the different kinds of drums or back growl vocals. The cracking noises in an acoustic Death
Comes In March are nothing new but work just as good as occasional voice cracks of the vocalist. Even though many musicians do their best to avoid or conceal those, in this case those are the imperfections which only enhance the spirit of the whole release.
A very outstanding feature of this album is also its occasional 90's groovy sound as for example in Folie À Deux. What more, the band is not afraid to enrich it with a child choral and this sublimes the retro feeling into a classy melancholia. Melancholic is also the best adjective to describe the second acoustic song Oblivion Vision. The biggest tribute to the past is however Lovesong, originally performed by The Cure, another big inspiration of To/Die
/For, which proves that the band can enrich even the biggest classics by their own approach.
After all the years on scene, no matter if as a hard rock Mary-Ann or gothic To/Die
/For, the band shows that they still can excite their fans by the new materials without losing its specific sound. The fans can now only hope that it won't take another break and a five years pause to get another great release as Samsara