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Released: 2014, Independent
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Scandelion was formed in of all places, the Canary Islands in 2002 and is the brainchild of Jorge Alfonso. The band is now based in London. Nonsense is Scandelion’s 5th release and seems to very much Jorge’s baby with the other musicians listed as ‘guest musicians’. Scandelion’s sound is very much that of a band from the Mediterranean region and at times brings to mind Rotting Christ, Lacuna Coil and Novembre all of whom, of course come from the same region. Having that there are parts of the album reminiscent of 90s british goth/doom bands such as My Dying Bride and Seasons End but without detracting from the overall originality of the piece.
The sound within is of an accomplished unit and Jorge has obviously put much thought and work as if I hadn’t known that it was the work of one band I’d say that sounds very much like a band effort. Natalia Falcón be apportioned some praise here for her stellar vocal contributions.
The album starts with Nonsense Part 1 which is a good intro to the album with a recital of Alone by Edgar Allan Poe over some almost trance like keyboards. My Darkest Thoughts then smashes in with an almost black metal like intensity before settling into an acoustic passage weaving a bludgeoning melodic path with some great interplay between keyboard and guitar before ending with another blistering passage.
Dusk In Your Dreams is more of the same with a punishing pace but with a definite melodic streak running through it. My Tears Drown Your Heart is where things get interesting the melancholic stream which could be heard bubbling under the surface on the previous 2 tracks comes to the fore here with a simple but effective piano intro and Jorge’s clean vocals at the beginning giving a very definite air of despair and sadness to proceedings. One of my favourite parts of this song is the acoustic guitar parts which weave in and out of the distorted guitars and keys. Here Falcón gives one of her best performances on the album with her vocals adding to Jorge’s well. Asleep in the Embrace of Death carries the mood on well and the pace almost brings to mind a Neurosislike drone before a florish of Violins heralds a faster more staccato second part before the last refrain turns the song on it’s head again.
Die…or Die brings the pace back again before Alfonso and Falcón again trade off melodic vocals before the song ends on a crescendo again bringing the black metal bent of the piece to the fore. Nonsense Part II is probably the most pared back song on the album with another great piece of interplay between the two vocalists over a pared back keyboard arrangement. Leave Your Cage starts with keys on their own but the tune builds on one of the heaviest songs on the album with an almost brutal death metal feel in parts but with melody always there, indeed there is another nice little acoustic florish towards the end of the song to add further colour.
Penultimate song, Tragic Solitude begins with a very downcast keyboard part which follows the theme of the title well, in fact the whole first half of the song does, it is a towering epic tribute to loneliness. The album closes with Pain of a Dying Soul which is probably the weakest song on the album and it’s not until 4 minutes in that it really gets going with an awesome heavy chugging guitar riff followed by another excellent, melodic vocal from Falcón to end the album.
I must admit when I listened to this album for the first time it I could hear and appreciate quality of the playing, but the songs didn’t really grab me at all but the second and third times completely changed my opinion. This album not just for fans of the darker more gothic side of extreme metal but for anyone who likes their extreme metal laced with a bit of melody and some decent female vocals.
Review by Scrios
1. Nonsense (Part I)
2. My Darkest Thoughts
3. Dusk in Your Dreams
4. My Tears Drown Your Heart
5. Asleep in The Embrace of Death
6. Die... or die (Your Choice)
7. Nonsense (Part II)
8. Leave Your Cage
9. Tragic Solitude
10. Pain of a Dying Soul
Jorge Afonso (Keys/Vocals)
Pablo Guerrero (Guitars)
Coré Ruiz (Bass)
Natalia Falcón (Female voices)
Victor Nassar (Voice on "Leave Your Cage")
Raquel Santana (Speech on "Pain of a Dying Soul")
Eva Sac (Speech on "Pain of a Dying Soul")
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