“After we have a look at the players in this game, we’ll find that former God Dethroned skinsman Arlen Van “that’s why the drums sound so good” Weesenbeeck is on the kit here too, bringing surefire might and muscle to the whole performance. He also contributes a few grunts. Of course, Mark Jansen from Epica does the “chocolate milk” gravel, screams a bit and contributes to the band’s orchestral fare. Frank Schlphorst (formerly of Control Human Delete and Prostitute Disfigurement) handles the axe on this album, dealing out some wonderful sections on the disc. Jack Driessen (ex-After Forever) adds some brilliant keyboards to the disc, and he also screams a bit on it as well. Rob Van Der Loo handles the bass duties just as well as he does in Epica, while former Brainstorm frontman Henning Basse handles the clean vocals. He handled the band in their earlier stages, which I found forgettable until Ambiguity released. He does a stronger job on the clean vocals here, however. Laura Macri and new Nighwish siren Floor Jansen handle the female vocal duties just as well as you’d expect, but you’ll have to wait to hear Epica’s mystical maiden Simone Simmons when the band performs this material live. And replacing Epica and former God Dethroned axeman Isaac Delahaye, is a newbie by the name of Merel Bechtold. He also handles some solo duties on the disc, so he proves his salt for the most part. But sadly, former Obscura and Pestilence bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling flew the coop on this one.
The structures seem to deliver well however, mixing gothic and death metal elements with that of technical and prog landscapes, making it easily digestible to those who wouldn’t like this kind of music had it not contained the “technical” and “progressive” elements. But no matter how well you can run through the piano keys on closer “Faceless Spies,” there is no way that you can convince me that the acoustic female operatic “Insano 2:58” even belongs on this piece. SepticFlesh knew better after they put the “Underworld” saga on A Fallen Temple. Clearly, this work would’ve served better on another project and I’m sure that interesting stares will ensue from the others in the vehicle who just realized that the pulse-pounding metal they were listening to just a few seconds ago just took a turn for folk opera. To which one says, “Oops! Sorry guys. I just got this thing and haven’t heard it yet.” When I was in a band, I used to have to go through the same crap, so I’m sure that the very thing I’ve just mentioned has already happened somewhere in the metal world. For some odd reason, the bonus track for the album is the opener “Descry,” which just adds an instrumental opening to the disc and isn’t really necessary, so save yourself the trouble unless it comes with a DVD…”
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