Portrait Of A Porcelain Doll

Written by: EW on 05/04/2009 22:04:59

Is it just me or is 2009 already turning out to be a strangely exciting year for albums? And not do I mean the expected albums of expected big bands but those of bands you'd never previously heard of? At least with what I've picked up from the promos sent in to us I've personally benefitted from some interesting albums across a variety of genres, always a more tempting prospect than another load of shit power metal or kvlt gr1m black metal.

So next on the chopping board is Mely, a 'gothic metal' band descending from Austria, who I chose to review in expectation of their support to Agalloch recently. Well, it turns out by the time I got in (read: stopped being cheap and drinking outside the venue) I only caught their last song, which is a pity because "Portrait Of A Porcelain Doll", the band's 4th album, has grown on me since listen one. The style of Mely is to be fair not one I am usually a fan of or know overly well, but through the lack of annoying female vocals and a pervasive atmosphere it has become an album I am enjoying listening to - a first for a 'gothic metal' album! Reminding me very much from what I knew of Sentenced (which was mainly through their closing performance to Wacken '05), Mely are a style part haunting and fragile, part heavy and bone-crunching and very much introspective. Stand-out track "Hell Low", may feature a key riff worryingly close to nu-metal territory but the vocal chorus is so built for the live setting that I wish my alcohol-dependent liver hadn't made me miss their Agalloch performance. As also exemplified in "Grown For Doom" (great title!), the vocals of Andreas Matain are loud and clear in the mix, which combined with the Sentenced influence results in a band I surmise would find much appeal to the teenage 'gothic' market, if only the band had a greater presence here.

Referencing anyone but the departed Finns is difficult as the kind of gothic metal they executed is the order of the day for Mely - the kind infinitely more interesting and listenable than the other kind of 'gothic band' - Within Temptation and the like. Hints of Down at their most mellow can be found in "Don't Wake The Sleeping Dog" and in "My Addiction" a Bossk/Cult of Luna post-metal touch floats around but it's a safe bet that if Sentenced did it for you Mely will too. A pretty good mark follows but surely my 'favourite ever gothic metal album' is more worthy an accolade for "Portrait Of A Porcelain Doll". Interesting release.


Download: Hell Low, Grown For Doom
For The Fans Of: Sentenced, Amorphis
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 03.04.09
Silverwolf Productions

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