Of Rust And Bones

Written by: PP on 22/03/2010 05:43:56

I guess you can't write a review about Poisonblack without mentioning Sentenced in it somewhere, for so similar is the sonic expression by both bands no matter which way you look at it. Vocalist Ville Laihiala fronts (or fronted in Sentenced's case) both with his trademark gloomy, deep singing voice, and the two bands are to melancholy what Dark Tranqullity is to misery. Yes, Poisonblack's weapon of choice is indeed saddened melancholy delivered through catchy, yet mellow melodies, and that's a formula they haven't varied yet even as we enter their fourth studio album "Of Rust And Bones".

If melancholy's your thing, then there are few better than Poisonblack, and that statement seems to be what Poisonblack are out to prove with the record. They write catchy, yet mostly mellow rock songs that come across as gloomy and miserable (in a weirdly positive way), deeply rooted in radio friendly gothic rock territory. Though lengthy (nearly all songs 4 minutes or longer, with a couple of mammoths), most tracks follow a medium pace rhythm, sometimes varying into a little mainstream thrash (think modern Metallica) or even quieter ballads. The songs aren't openly catchy, requiring quite a few active listening sessions before the melodies really start opening up and grabbing you as a listener. So patience is a key element unless you're used to Poisonblack from before, but even as a fan, some of the more progressive song structures present here may leave you scratching your head at first. And to be honest, while it's possible to wrap your head around and hum along to some of the catchier songs of the album ("Leech" and "Buried Alive" at the forefront), most songs fade away all too soon after you've heard them, leaving no impression worth writing home about.

Still, compared to their German peers, Poisonblack deliver much stronger melodies and generally interesting, well-thought out songs, no matter how 'mainstream' they may sound. Couple of impressive cuts lift the record quite a bit above the average mark, but the record fails to capitalize on their momentum, and especially towards the end, begins to stumble badly on mediocre songs that in all honesty shouldn't have made this record. "The Last Song" saves a sinking ship with one final stab at melancholic godhood, but in the end you're left with a record that feels just decent instead of good or great.

Download: Leech, Buried Alive
For the fans of: Sentenced, Entwine, Sinamore
Listen: Myspace

Release date 22.03.2010
Century Media

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