As Eden Burns

The Great Celestial Delusion

Written by: TL on 28/11/2008 16:19:16

"Please don't tag us deathcore". The words are lifted off the page of Texas-based As Eden Burns, and while I'm sure that some of you may find something that resembles a breakdown if you carefully scrutinize the band's new album "The Great Celestial Delusion", those that don't may rest assured that they won't find any stupidly simplified mosh-pleasing with this band.

Instead, what you do get if you purchase the band's first full legth record, is a faithful and solid batch of modern melodic death metal, owing as much in inspiration to The Black Dahlia Murder as they seem to do to At The Gates. The sound naturally being closer in resemblance to the former than the latter, given that the genre has indeed evolved somewhat since the legendary Swedes introduced it to us back in the 90's. As for this album, when you pop it on, one thing becomes clear right from the start. These boys can shred like motherfuckers, and if I didn't know any better, I'd think the sole purpose of this record was to prove just that.

However, looking at the title of both the album and its tracks, it should be clear that there's an overall theme to the record that, as typical for the genre, doesn't seem to be too friendly towards concepts of religion. It's too bad that the details of that theme never really come across when listening to the album though, as the first and foremost critical point of this record, that of its vocals, hinders its meaning in a rather annoying way. You see this is yet another band where everyone wielding an instrument has learned to do so with impressive technical proficiency, while neglecting to find an equally skilled vocalist for their outfit. Effectively, the vocals here may not be the worst I've heard this year, in fact they're not even close, the screams in particular sound quite decent - the problem is that I can still hardly make out a single word after a week of intensive listening. No matter how you cut it, the difference between a good metal vocalist and a bad one, is that with a good one, the screaming will still have the form of words. And as for the growling, let's just say it’s a typical case of cookie-monster and hope our subject gets better by the next album.

Overall I still think "The Great Celestial Delusion" is a fairly good listen regardless of its vocal problems. While you have it on, it gets you into that death metal mood where you totally get the style and you're bobbing your head and tapping your feet. In short, you just feel it, plain and simple. When it's over though, there's too little to remember the album by, and that feeling you get on the first song, where you feel like you can predict the sound of the entire album, that's pretty accurate. The band definitely need better vocals and more variety to establish some characteristic moments in their soundscape, but there's no reason not to think they'll get them, given that this is only their debut, and their myspace states that they're currently without a permanent vocalist. Until then, give this a spin if you're in the mood for some unspecified but proper melodeath. Otherwise don't feel bad about waiting for the sophomore.

Download: Ever Again, Conceptual Decay
For The Fans Of: The Black Dahlia Murder, All Shall Perish, At The Gates

Release Date 03.11.2008
Candlelight/Willowtip Records

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