Sunday, April 26, 2009

Review: Evadne - The 13th Condition (2007)

Evadne [ Website | MySpace ]
The 13th Condition

Frequent visitors to Harvest Moon Music will know that I have an affinity for the Gothic Doom style of metal. Theatre of Tragedy, Katatonia, and early The Gathering all exhibit the kind of dark, depressive, and angered style of Heavy Metal that I covet. I simply can't get enough of it. Therefore, whenever I stumble upon an up-and-coming band plying the murky waters of this particular sub-genre, I'm all for lending them an eager ear. From Valencia, on Spain's Mediterranean coast, comes Evadne. Aptly named after the ill-fated wife of Capaneus in Greek Mythology, the band exudes doom and melancholy throughout their debut full-length The 13th Condition.

If you're in the least bit familiar with the aforementioned bands or the Doom/Death style of metal in general, then you're going to know exactly what to expect from Evadne. The 13th Condition is rife with imposing, sorrowful riffs and mournful violin arrangements. The guitars of Josan and Fernando are held primarily in reserve, serving to heighten the dark atmosphere constructed by the lush keyboard work of Jessie (who has since left the band). The vocals are the pseudo Cookie Monster-ish Death Metal growls you'd expect, though frontman Albert does a fine job enunciating the lyrics. To keep things vocally interesting Albert adopts a dispirited spoken-word style on occasion, such as during "Awaiting", and even delves into more of a Black Metal shriek on "A Decadent Puppet". That particular track also features some heavy double-kick from drummer Rafa and some light tremolo riffing from Josan and Fernando. With some majestic keyboard riffs thrown in for good measure, "A Decadent Puppet" comes across as one of the more sinister tracks on The 13th Condition.

In the typical Beauty-and-the-Beast style of Gothic Doom vocals, the harsh male voice is essentially balanced by the inclusion of wistful female vox. In addition to contributing a wealth of violin passages, Lady Nott guests as Evadne's beauty. Atypical of the style, however, is the frequency of Lady Nott's appearances. Perhaps comprising only a third of the vocal passages, her ethereal voice is used just enough to leave the listener wanting more - sort of an aural tease, if you will. Her voice is smooth, wispy, and definitely a positive addition to Evadne's sound. Hopefully she'll continue to be a part of the band's future releases.

The 13th Condition is not an album that transcends established stylings, but it is an extraordinary example of Gothic Doom that any fan of the style must have in their collection. With this release, the members of Evadne have proven themselves to be excellent songwriters and I have little doubt that they'll be snatched up by a label at any moment. Get your hands on this one.

Track Listing
1 Intro 1:59
2 No One Of Them 6:21
3 Awaiting 8:44
4 Follow In The Loveless 8:34
5 A Decadent Puppet 7:50
6 Wounds That Time Is Unable To Close 8:10
7 Los Temps e Loch 3:17
8 I Will Place Them 8:09
9 Torn Cry 6:06
Total Runtime 59:10

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