Released: 2006, Hateworks
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Roving the Danish black metal scene since 1995, Fairytale Abuse (perhaps one of the worst band names I have ever heard) recorded their first full-length, THE SPIRIT TOWER, way back in 2003, but it is just now seeing a release on Colombia’s Hateworks Records. With equal parts melodic death, goth and symphonic black metal, THE SPIRIT TOWER is full of accessible, hook-y songs that immediately grab the listener’s ear. Vocalist and band founder, Simon Pedersen, possesses the necessary growls of THE JESTER RACE-era In Flames and the dual guitars of Michael Alm and Morten Odgaard pick up the melodic death chugs and sweeping riffs. Dea Lillelund’s tinkly keyboards provide a subtle atmosphere to the tracks and the mix job by acclaimed knob-twiddler Tue Madsen makes the music sparkle, too. THE SPIRIT TOWER is an enjoyable CD and as an homage to Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir and In Flames, Fairytale Abuse captures their essence very well but the music on this CD has been heard many, many times before and done better by the aforementioned bands.
The Dimmu-isms explode on “Sindarella” and the title track with Pedersen’s blackened shrieks and low-end growls fighting for space alongside the meaty riffs and symphonic keys. The band certainly knows their way around a melody and choruses are constructed with memorable hooks. Lillelund’s keys are a crucial part of the title track with swelling passages that provide the necessary mood for the band’s clichéd goth lyrics (“Here she rests the girl dressed in white/She feels the morning wind on her pale face/She feels the gust of dark in her heart”). Pedersen rumbles and growls through “An Odor of Osirian Bloom” and the Moonspell-ish “Misery Tree” drips with dark ambience. But the inclusion of female vocals on “By The Vampire Still” takes the goth flourishes to the max as a vampiress takes her willing victim to a life without mirror reflections (“Your flesh is blessed by the hands of hell/Black as the water turns to blood/I know it is life endlessly”).
Depending on how you look at it, THE SPIRIT TOWER is either glossed-up black metal or keyboard-heavy melodic death. Whichever side of the fence you choose, though, Fairytale Abuse’s debut is an enjoyable romp through all-too-familiar waters. On album number two, the band might be wise to look for a sound they can call their own rather than rely so heavily on past glories of other bands but there is definitely a promising future ahead for this Danish band…with a name change.
KILLER KUTS: “Sindarella,” “The Spirit Tower,” “By The Vampire Still”