It took five years for Denmark's Compos Mentis to craft the follow-up to their first album, Fragments Of A Withered Dream. Okay, shit happens. I'm sure we've all been there and can back that statement up with our own experiences. The question now is, did those five years keep the band from matching the skill displayed on their previous opus?
Not at all. You could say that wait was worth it. Gehennesis is much like FoaWD, though erring more on the side of structure than atmosphere. The emphasis on this album is more the guitars and the harmonies performed between the two of them. The speeds and rhythms are more diverse here than they were one the last album, and the soloing is much more pronounced.
But don't think that the ambience has been dropped in favor of more articulate riffage. The keyboards still remain, and while their technical level has not risen with the guitars, their prominence still makes the music complete. Yes, there are some parts where the keys are silent while everything else is going full force, but those synthless bits are less frequent. Still, with the use of keys sometimes being supportive more than front-and-center, I think it was possible that they could have been used as often as everything else. Than again I suppose playing them was directly intertwined with commitment, as keyboardist Bo Damgaard departed the band after the recordings but prior to the album's publication.
Fans of both melodic death and melodic black metal would be ripping themselves off by not seeking out this band. If you already know of their sound with FoaWD, than you should get this, pronto. (assuming you've not done so already)
October 13, 2007
By Fong Chu Ying
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