To Cast A Shadow

In Memory Of

Written by: PP on 30/01/2011 06:41:41

Norway's To Cast A Shadow are the latest band to sink their teeth into the crowded field of gothic metal. To vary from the formula, the band supposedly claims doom metal as a heavy influence for their new album "In Memory Of", citing Black Sabbath, Anathema and My Dying Bride as their main inspirations. While hints of the latter two bands are certainly audible especially in the guitar department, we don't need to look outside their home country's borders to find peers who share their sound. In fact, it's fairly obvious who To Cast A Shadow sound like: The Gathering (new era) and Theatre Of Tragedy. That is to say, delicate gothic metal with painstakingly slow (I guess doom metallish) tempo.

Now, the record starts out so well with spacious ambience and Sólstáfir-esque extended wails, but then descends into rather generic gothic metal territory shortly after. The instrumental base is superb, with plenty of arrangements showcasing th best in gothic metal and hinting at potential elsewhere, too. However, the problems begin and end in the vocal department. While the female singer is technically okay, she just isn't very interesting and conveys nothing new to the listener that s/he wouldn't have heard on any The Gathering, Theatre Of Tragedy, or Autumn albums.

She has occasional strong moments, such as her soft and quiet verse pieces during "Morose" and during its brilliantly tranquil and introspective chorus melodies, but on too many other tracks she just comes across as anonymous. Her vocal melodies just aren't on par with the rest of the band, if you ask me, who momentarily display sheer greatness through extremely saddened soundscapes that bring to mind even Paradise Lost. Sometimes they use a growler on the background who does a very good job, perhaps they should consider replacing the female vocals with his varied range (provided it was him in the start of the album too). It would fit much better, helping to distinguish To Cast A Shadow from their peers. For now, they just sound like a derivative / clone band.

Download: Morose
For the fans of: The Gathering, Autumn, Theatre Of Tragedy
Listen: Myspace

Release date 14.02.2011
Kolony Records

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