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Review: Arsenic Addiction - XIX
Arsenic Addiction

Label: Independent
Year released: 2019
Duration: 55:04
Tracks: 13
Genre: Gothic Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: December 2, 2020
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
Readers Rating

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (8 Votes)

These days, when someone uses the term Gothic Metal, they're either describing the lighter, more commercial sound of acts like Autumn and Delain or the darker, alt-rock influenced sounds of Lacuna Coil and mid-period Paradise Lost. Utah's Arsenic Addiction opt for the latter sound, complete with all the ostentation that would imply (their debut is actually called An Undertaker's Lament: Dedicated from the Living to the Dead). I'm not really big on this kind of sound, as I find most of it comes across as Evanescence wannabes that majored in theater trying to sound deep and important. As it turns out, the band's third album, XIX, does nothing to change that assumption.

Musically, this is pretty standard from what you'd find back in the early 2000s, with an emphasis on rhythmic guitar work and grand orchestrations backing female vocals that go for a theatrical approach rather than an operatic one. There are some solid melodies and cool riffs on here, particularly on the first few tracks, but most of the songs don't have much identity to them, being overwrought and pedantic rather than dramatic and memorable. Frontwoman Lady Arsenic has a solid singing voice, but her growls are pretty weak and drag down even the better moments on this album, and outside of some snappy choruses, she doesn't have any really engaging vocal melodies to work with. This certainly isn't the worst example of the genre I've heard, but I doubt even fans of the style would find much to get excited over. Pass.

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