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Released: 2004, Candlelight
Finally get to hear these guys and it only took me six years…what a waste! I could have enjoyed all five of their previous releases by now! Better late than never I suppose.
Morifade are an establish metal act from Sweden with a couple of EP’s and a couple of full-length CD’s under their belts. Upon first listen the band was propelled high into my personal ranks based on their traditional, powerful progressive tinged sound. Reminiscent of older acts like Tad Morose and Morgana LeFey, Morifade sit nicely beside their contemporaries like young guns Space Odyessy, Star One and Wuthering Heights.
Morifade have made a clever move and stepped away from the very traditional fantasy images and themes of the first years into a dark, thematic album based on the writings of Aldous Huxley and George Orwell. Although the lyrics are not included in the liner notes, the enunciation of the powerful singer, Stefan Petersson makes it easy to follow the interesting and intelligent lyrics. He sits very comfortably in the mid-range but can hit a few high notes when he needs to.
The band clearly prescribes to the adage, ‘If it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ as the band utilized Andy LaRoque for the third time in a row and has maintained a stable line-up over the past five years or so. I have no comparison with the bands previous releases but I do like the production a lot. It’s quite dense with twin guitar attack and keyboards layered throughout. A good mix helps project the heaviness of the songs, it certainly doesn’t fall in the happy metal realm. The band as mentioned have dropped the fantasy elements to a large degree which might help them distinguish themselves from a large number of fantasy inspired true metal bands out there today.
The CD ‘proper’ has about 45 minutes of fantastic, catchy and engaging , prog-power songs but also has a few extra nice features. Essentially the band has added the four track ‘Cast A Spell’ EP from 2000, onto the disc. There are three originals, and a fairly obscure cover from a band called Phenomena, who were a mid 80’s all-star project featuring guys from Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath and so on. Cool choice, considering by an odd coincidence I listened to the Phenomena album the same day I first heard Domination. The band also throw on a Helloween cover tune as well. It is a punchy version of ‘Judas’ from the Keepers of Jericho Tribute from a few years back.
There is also a video for the cut ‘Lost Within A Shade’ which isn’t actually on Domination, but was the lead off single from their last album, Imaginarium! Three bonus treats (EP, cover tune, Video) to end off the CD. All those extras are great but the first nine ‘new’ songs stand up on their own, each with it’s own flavour, some double kick in places, (but never over-utilized) lots of great solos (but not too shredding) and the aforementioned hints of keyboards for effect.
I’m extremely impressed and really enjoy the songs on this (soon to be?) classic, metal album. We need more bands like this. Morifade’s domination of my ears is complete!
2. A Silent Revolution
3. The Second Coming
4. Words I Never Speak
7. The Rising
9. Memory’s End
10. Cast A Spell
11. As Time Decides
12. Tomorrow Knows
13. Dance with The Devil (cover)
14. Judas (cover)
Lost Within A Shade (Video)
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