's 2008 release, "Amanethes" is a highly diversified assortment of songs all pumped out from the same gothic metal vein. Perhaps that is what's extraordinary and exceptional about this album; that upon close inspection every track is quite singular regardless of any surface similarity. Take the multi-faceted voice talent that is Johan Edlund. In general, his tone is akin to a blood gurgling crooner, but from there a plethora of choices both in style and effect is heard on each track. To add, all of the instrumentalists employ the same philosophy as well. Two
songs may be slow, but one will feature distorted power chords, while the other will have a clean or accoustic guitar. "Via Dolorosa" champions a tambourine, "Until The Hellhounds Sleep Again
" toll bells, and "Equinox
Of The Gods" ends with a child voice over a synth toy piano, just to name a few. Tempo for the most part is slow, but even here there are a couple of mid-tempo tracks; "Raining Dead
Angels" perhaps being the heaviest and the fastest. "Lucienne" is a great example of a song that varies within itself (as most of the other tracks do, too - "Equinox
Of The Gods" is another with its soft middle break). "Lucienne" starts with a slow guitar triplet in the beginnig followed by a double time drum roll near the middle and the third verse is supported by only the bass line. Although most of the moods range from haunting, diabolical, and gloomy, the best song on the album, "Meliae" is a most beautiful and emotional ballad, sung and played with a most Floydian piece of mind. Even here, diversity within is well represesented with the fifth verse featuring a filtered voice effect over a military snare and a female vocalist is dubbed under the chorus line. Overall, "Amanethes" is quite typical of that classic gothic sound, but the genius that is Johan Edlund is what makes this album full bodied, all encompassing, and constantly engaging; the work is quite an accomplishment.