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Review: Darkwell - Suspiria

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2000
Duration: 46:52
Tracks: 10
Genre: Gothic Metal

Rating: 3.25/5

Review online: September 4, 2019
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
Readers Rating

Rated 3/5 (60%) (6 Votes)

Suspiria is something of an interesting case study in the things in Gothic Metal that do and do not work. On the one hand, it has a fine grasp of atmosphere, a few sweeping melodies, and some lovely, delicate female vocals courtesy of Alexandra Pittracher. On the other hand, it falls into the trap of being cheesy as all hell and taking itself way too seriously in spite of all that, especially with the ridiculous male backing vocals which are trying to sound like some Phantom of the Opera-style character and only accomplishing it by the standards of teenage theater dorks (I defy you not to laugh when he says "Sanity is only a weird form of madness"). Outside of those considerations, even the good melodies on this aren't great, and a lot of the album sounds the same with chugging rhythm guitars, keyboard melodies that sound closer to Mister Casio than anything with real drama, and vocal lines that are either limiting their singer to a high pitched croon or written with those limitations in mind, and as a result making them mostly unmemorable. If you're looking for some safe, light Gothic Metal with some nice melodies, and you don't mind it self-assuredly posturing in ridiculous ways, then this is OK, but there are plenty of better bands for this kind of thing.

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