This is The Vision Bleak's second effort, the two man band is mostly described a project initiated by Ex- Empyrium
man Ulf Theodor Schwadorf and Nox Mortis's Allen B. Konstanz, the band's first release was the well received "The Death Ship Has A New Captain" and now they're at it again with another slab of horror tinged Goth-death metal.
The Goth touches are mostly provided by Konstanz's voice, a deep Goth-like one, and the use of atmospheric keyboards and plentiful orchestration a-la Cradle Of Filth
The death metal motif is evident in the sound, a sharp and brutal, Entombed
-like sound, and the heavy handed use of guitar riffs that come off as death metal most of the time, the strange thing is – it all mixed up wonderfully.
The album is a concept one, telling a terror tale of a young man drawn into a web of horror and mysticism in the darkened land of Carpathia, and I have to say the band's lyrics are also hold a resemblance to Cradle Of Filth's, well written and coherent prose with plentiful imagination.
The album opens with the orchestral "The Drama OF The Wicked" which sets the mood, and than bursts into the heavy "Secrecies In Darkness", the heavy sound hits hard, strangely balanced by the orchestra which is always evident and Konstanz's deep voice.
Probably the best track in an album that has plenty is the title track, again, the fine combination of symphonic black metal antics with the strong riffing and the deep vocals fit in perfectly, what makes this song so good is the fine structure, its immediately catchy without coming off as simplistic.
“Sister Najade” is a more Goth sounding track with some Paradise Lost
flourishes and a fine operatic female voice, it continues with the Ethnic sounding “The Curse Of Arabia”, again, it’s the prefect harmony of the different elements that make this so good.
The fact that this album has not left my stereo for the better part of last week is enough of a reason for me to highly recommend it, I'm not terribly Goth music oriented, but this album has something for almost anyone, it’s dark, sophisticated and yet aggressive enough, one of the best releases I've heard in the last few months.