is Siebenbürgen's debut full-length, Loreia, should be enough to tell you everything you need to know about this. I
remember someone telling me to check this out, many years ago, claiming that I would like it since I was such a fan of Dissection.
Wow, what false advertising on that person's part. Even if this was stripped of all of the cheesy gimmickry, I don't see how
anyone could compare the two bands. At its core, this reminds me more of Lunar Strain from In Flames, or maybe the
first Algaion L.P.
What one can expect to find here are some serviceable, if
not generic, guitar riffs that are passable enough. There is nothing particularly special, but it is easily passable for those
into this style of music, even if it had all been heard before, by 1997. Strangely, the faster riffs seem to be lower in the
mix, allowing the vocals and drums to overpower the guitars, at times. Speaking of the vocalist, he is the definition of average,
neither good nor bad. The guy would probably sound better if the material wasn't so soft. The drumming is sterile and pretty
mechanical, sometimes being rather distracting, and would have benefited from being lower in the mix. It should also
be said that the occasional use of the violin really adds nothing to this. However, to be honest, none of this matters because
the album is completely ruined by the atrocious female vocals.
This was already quite a popular gimmick by the late-'90s, for some unknown reason. Female
vocals do not belong in metal, whatsoever. (That includes those who try and fail to growl like the men, yet always sounding
noticeably weaker and more hollow.) Few things kill an album's chances of coming off as remotely aggressive or dark like including
some worthless hooker, in an effort to appeal to the goth crowd. It's even worse in this case, as half the time the girl is
just randomly wailing away, seemingly with no lyrics to follow. The whole thing is about as cringe-worthy as the girl that
sang on the Storm album. At any rate, nothing of value was lost here. Even without the undesirable elements, this record
would only have been average at best, and it likely would have been soon forgotten without those very gimmicks.
Again, the cover should have served as a big red flag. Amusingly
enough, the girl in the photo is supposedly the one associated with the Norwegians and responsible for harassing the guy from
Therion, all because his band wrote awful lyrics and wasn't dark enough, or something along those lines. Yet she had no problem
being associated with lame garbage like this, which goes to show what has been proven to me to be the case 95% of the time,
that girls have bad taste in music. Loreia is not "beautiful" or "ethereal", as some others have described it. This
is trash and it should be avoided at all costs.
(13 May 2014)