As Light Dies – Ars Subtilior From Within The Cage ( A Second Opinion )   5 comments

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So, yeah, this is pretty bad by any standards. I wondered what all the fuzz was about, so I gave this record repeated listenings before writing this review, or a 2nd opinion if you will. These fine gentlemen from Spain, Madrid “an Eclectic Mineral band grown from the filth of depressive and arid plains of Iberia” state on their myspace: “Do you think that a frozen forrest [sic] is inspiring? We don’t have forrest to inspire but the desolation indeed. We don’t need tools to create, we just evacuate the shit from within. Extreme influences, extreme sounding, extreme eclecticism. Music from everyplace and noplace, from everytime and no time, made out with everything and nothing, but not for everyone.”

Now, let me make this clear: I’m not an English native speaker, so my English is not perfect at all, in writing or orally. That’s why I won’t delve too much or too deep into the textual level of the above snippet. I had my share of close reading (English, Dutch, medieval Dutch) so I want to go the distance with this text, but for the love of God I can’t make out what the band is sharing here. I guess and I hope that by ‘forrest’ they don’t mean this ‘forrest’ (according to the online free dictionary):

For·rest (fôrst, fr-), Nathan Bedford 1821-1877.
American Confederate general who was active at the battles of Shiloh (1862) and Chickamauga (1863). He was a founder and the first leader (1866-1869) of the Ku Klux Klan.

And what does “we just evacuate the shit from within” even means? Their music is said to “made out with everything” so does eclecticism equals promiscuity now? I have now idea. Okay, so much for splitting hairs, let’s move on to the music on Ars Subtilior From Within The Cage. One more (textual) thing about the title though. Freely translated, it means ‘the more subtle art from within the cage’ (?).

So, what about the music then? Stylistically, it’s somewhere between Amorphis, Within Temptation and Therion. Yes, you do get a lot of instruments and symphonies, with regular male vocals, but also some death metal-like vocals, and even some female vocals. Also, there are a lot of these instrumental interludes, which take away much of the tension that was build up during songs, listen for example to track number three called Le Nebuleux Sentier. No idea why they use different languages in their song titles, but so far I can distinguish four languages: English, French, German and Spanish. Guess it shows how eclectic they are. Okay, if you want to hear how simple these boring interludes sound, skip to track number five: Die Letze Fuge Vor Der Flucht. The organ, right? Why? I’ll leave it at that.

Conceptually though, I dig what they’re trying to do, although practically it doesn’t work on this release for me. What I like less, is the shoegaze feel these songs have: the narrator of some of the tracks dwells too much in the more negative connotations his emotions have. When we look at the album as a whole, I think it has too much pathos: and don’t get me wrong, I love the hell out of Meat Loaf. But on this particular release, it’s just too much of guzzling in negativity and self-pity.

The main problem I have with this album is its strange compositions. For example, have a listen to song number seven: Sombra Y Silencio. A song like this would fit nicely on the Eurovision Songfestival. To come back to the Within Temptation comparison: actually my dad went to a Within Temptation concert recently, and he loved the show to pieces. Maybe that’s what been missing with this music – the right context. For all we know, this band could work very well for a certain public and within a certain context.

Oh, and it’s not extreme at all I think. It’s just boring and pompous.

I’d be happy to answer any valuable questions about this review: you can reach me via Doommantia. ( see the contact page )

2 out of 10

As Light Dies @ Myspace

Review Written By Sandrijn van den Oever

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Posted July 22, 2010 by doommantia in As Light Dies

5 responses to “As Light Dies – Ars Subtilior From Within The Cage ( A Second Opinion )

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  1. un 0 es lo que se merecen estos hijosdeputa por hacer música tan incomprensible para los oidos mundanos

  2. Sandrijn, are you angry maybe because Spain kicked Holland's ass in the worldcup?

  3. Haha, I just saw that I had actual comments on this review – nothing constructive luckily 😉

  4. Yeah just usual really ha ha.

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