The Murder of My Sweet is another symphonic/cinematic band (I ended up with a couple of these this month). The band hails from Stockholm, Sweden, and BETH OUT OF HELL is their third full-length album. Formed in 2007, they have been around for some time but this is my first time listening to them. The album’s concept involves the daughter of Lucifer falling in love with the Archangel Michael. A plague o’ both your houses! Seriously, Shakespeare is a popular inspiration that has led to some seminal creations in music, like WEST SIDE STORY. BETH OUT OF HELL seems more appropriate for a graphic novel adaptation than cinema, but then again many graphic novels are made into films. Ultimately, BETH OUT OF HELL comes across as a mix of concept-era Savatage and bands like Imperia and Where Angels Fall, though you could pick a number of similar female-fronted comparisons. Nevertheless, these are worthy combinations.
After a brief narration opens things, the album kicks off musically with “The Awakening” which initially sounds like something from Queen crossed with a musical, complete with choir. Then things kick in with some chunky guitars and Angelica Rylin’s appealing vocals. Rylin possesses a comfortable mezzo soprano range, which is a refreshing change from the helium highs we get with many female-fronted symphonic bands. I listen to a ton of female-fronted bands and I am finding that I really enjoy Rylin’s style.
One thing that becomes quickly apparent is that TMOMT is at their best when performing more conventional song structures. They separate themselves from countless other bands of this style by writing more direct and meat and potatoes melodic metal. Yah, it’s layered with keyboards, stage elements, and choirs, but ultimately underneath is a band that can right catchy songs. “Always The Fugitive” has wide appeal, and ranks with the top songs of the subgenre. “Still” adds some chugging heaviness in the verse and showcases Rylin’s powerful vocals. “Humble Servant” has a thumping bass line and an infectious chorus.
Unfortunately, you also have songs like “Bitter Love” and “Requiem For A Ghost” where the narration, cinema score, and stage elements rob the album of momentum. This is not progressive music, yet the band extends the aforementioned “Requiem” to ten long minutes, while album closer “Means To An End” clocks in at nearly twelve minutes, much too long for this style. Lastly, the first half of the album is noticeably the stronger of the two, as the second half is bogged down by some filler moments. Despite these flaws, the album sounds great and much is saved by Rylin’s vocals and the strong songs in the first half of the album. It is also pretty cool to hear this type of dark and heavy music on Frontiers. I just wish the band had found a way to convey the story without robbing the album of its pace. A worthy album for fans of female-fronted symphonic metal, without growly male vocals.
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