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Loreia (1997)

The cover 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)

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