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Ghost Of Mary - Oblivaeon (2016) - Review

Band: Ghost Of Mary
Album title: Oblivaeon
Release date: 2 December 2016
Label: Revalve Records

01. The Moon And The Tree
02. Shades
03. Last Guardians
04. Nothing
05. The Ancient Abyss
06. Oblivaeon
07. Black Star
08. Something To Know
09. The End Is The Beginning
10. Nowhere Now Here
11. The Ancient Abyss (Piano version)

From Italy comes the newcomers to the scene Ghost Of Mary, playing some sort of gothic/melodic death metal. This is their first album, bearing the name Oblivaeon and it's released by Revalve Records. The band was founded in early 2014. For this opus vocalist Daniele Rini wrote a short tale about life, death and all despair in between both. This dark tale became a “musical book” or more technically speaking, a conceptual album, where a theme is explored by set of tracks and not by each track individually. The idea of using stories told through songs is very captivating. This technique is used by few artists and bands, and yes, it might be very interesting if well explored. Although it has to be thoroughly studied in terms of how to explore the individual elements included in a song or songs in this particular case. So the idea is good, I have analyzed the lyrics, the elements as a whole. Also each instruments interaction.

The instrumental side is mostly based on traditional gothic metal, not only because it uses elements and instruments of classical music (piano, violin, cello and viola), but because the guitars, bass, also drums and everything else has a traditional gothic style. I can say that some elements of traditional heavy metal are present in the guitar solos, but in general I classify it as gothic metal. I cannot consider the sound of Ghost Of Mary as a melodic death metal like many reviewers did, but I could say that it's actually a gothic metal band. Only the guttural and strong voice does not convince me. What makes it possible to properly classify a band in a particular genre is the perfect communion between the vocal part and instruments together.

The first track is a wonderful introduction to this conceptual album and translates the dark tale of suffering that is coming in the next tracks. A perfect conceptual album is one where the tracks blend fluidly until a change of style or beat, as well guitar riffs, overlap each other. Unfortunately the album "sins" in this sense. And this is not all. The impression I have is that it is already very commercial with a dissonant genre. The band still has a lot of road ahead. They should persist in the path and they could end up finding their really own style.

I the track "Shades", we have a bit of death metal mixed with gothic metal, passing quickly to only gothic metal. Then in the track “Last Guardians”, the clear, shouted voice is beautiful by itself, as well as all instrumental part is very captivating, even though it is performed with fast beats. And again, in "Something To Know" the clear voice that gets strong and desperate in the end is much better than the cried out guttural voice that intercalates with it. This clear voice should be used in all of the tracks and the second voice in a more serious and strong way, without trying to sound like vocals of a death metal monster. My favorite track was "The End Is The Beginning". In this one the voices most closely approaches in terms of harmony. Here the songwriting is articulated and distinctly melodic. "The Ancient Abyss" piano version is a beautiful track, but it is mandatory that the voice carry all the deep feelings of poetry.

Still I think that Ghost Of Mary have a lot to explore and improve. I really believe that the band doesn’t want to be singled out as just another band like many others. Another thing that disappoints me is that they self-proclaim similarity with the band Dark Tranquility. Please, I'm a fan of Dark Tranquility, I know every detail of it. I followed the development of the band from the beginning! Stop comparing your band to other bands. By being unique you can achieve mastery.

Review written by: Felin Frost
Rating: 6/10