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Released: 2004, Golden Lake Productions
After a ridiculously good 2003 effort, ICONOCLAST, Malta’s Forsaken return triumphantly with their new, full-length opus, ANIMA MUNDI. I’m happy to report that this disc is every bit as good as its predecessor, if a little bit too similar at times. The band’s powerful doom metal sound if perfectly intact, still led by Leo Stivala’s fantastic vocals, although there are changes afoot. For one, the keyboards are a little more to the fore this time around, though they are never in danger of drowning out the guitars. Also, even though it seems impossible, the band’s songwriting has gotten even more epic and simultaneously flowing than before. The catch to this is that the songs are not quite as immediate as before and take more listens to fully appreciate than those on ICONOCLAST.
There is nothing to fear however, as the band’s sense of doom metal is as razor sharp as ever, resulting in some of the most emotional and powerful songs they’ve penned. As well, Stivala’s voice seems to have gotten a little more soaring than in the past, lending an even stronger epic quality to the music, especially when contrasted with a slow, dirty riff like in “Sephiroth”.
After two full reviews, I’m beginning to run out of superlatives to bestow on this band, as it’s very difficult to find flaw with their music. These guys have come out of nowhere (despite their long, winding history) and firmly entrenched themselves at the top tier of doom metal. Miss them at your own peril.
1) Kindred Veil
3) The Poet’s Nightmare
4) Whispering Soul
5) The Eyes of Prometheus
6) Carpe Diem
7) All is Accomplished
Leo Stivala: Vocals
Sean Vukovic: Guitars
Albert Bell: Bass
Mario Ellul: Keyboards
Simeon Gatt: Drums
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