Released: 2001, Spinefarm Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
I remember reviewing Finnish Goth-rockers´, To/Die/For´s debut album (which was called ALL ETERNITY) for Metal-Rules.com for ´bout a year ago or so, but really cannot remember any longer what I thought about it at that time when I threw my final judgment over it. Well... so let that remain as a tiny mystery for all of us, -eh!?
Anyway, their much anticipated 2nd effort, EPILOGUE, which has been delayed many times due to some technical problems with the album cover - among with many other drawbacks that their label was having with it - is out now, at least here in Finland thru Spinefarm Records. I´m not so sure about the rest of Europe, but I believe it should be out shortly thru Nuclear Blast, too. Music? I have heard kept them saying how bands like Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, The Cult, The Erasure and the likes have all had a big impact on their music. That may be all very true as quite a few things have really been changed for better since ALL ETERNITY. First off, Jape Perätalo, the charismatic singer of the band, truly SINGS now in the very sense of the word. He has progressed amazingly from those days when they recorded their much-praised debut album. There´s a lot of more depth and feeling in his voice now compared to all that he was capable of articulating on ALL ETERNITY (in which he wasn´t that bad either as you may think!). And there´s his more melodramatic better half closer to the surface of the whole vocalism on the album that not only carry the songs into the eternally calm seas of sorrow and joy, but also makes Jape as one of the most noteworthy Gothic- sounding vocalists in the whole world. Just tune your ears for his brilliant vocal parts and cry with joy! Or smile, depending on what mood you are at.
Also, what I found far more interesting and actually kind of a ´brave´ move from the guys, is how they have widened the overall sound of theirs just a little bit further out of the Gothic/Metal genre into a more basic rock sound without sacrificing any bits from their own specific sound. They experiment here and there just a little bit more than a band from this particular genre is actually allowed to do without selling its true soul for the sake of commercialism and... (!) -whatever! Besides all that, they have become a bit lighter yet melodic and even catchier than we remember them being on their debut. They indeed have taken a few more important steps forward into the right direction at these particular areas in my opinion. I was especially glad to hear that even if they obviously had spent hours and hours and hours again at Finnvox Studio with ALL ETERNITY - kind of trying to find the absolutely right world and sound for it by the help of true sound wizards Mikko Karmila and Mika Jussila playing the essential parts of the rich sound they had on ALL ETERNITY, I think this time around the aforementioned dudes made the impossible possible for coming up with even just a thousand dollar richer and better sound for EPILOGUE which apparently ain´t much these days, but certainly was enough for this album anyway. You´ll notice a vast improvement when you draw a comparison between ALL ETERNITY and EPILOGUE, that´s for sure.
Out of the 10 songs on EPILOGUE, I think the following album´s tunes shattered the ground below my feet the most convincing way as the opener "Crimson Twins", "Vale of Tears", a ´hit´ single track "Hollow Heart" - full of a true hit potentiality, "In Solitude" which is the heaviest tune on the album - and last, but not least an ear-twickling "Immortal Love". True ace stuff!!
Now a hard nut will be faced by the fellows of To/Die/For: How are they going to top EPILOGUE with both its quality songs and quality sound with their next full-length!? I guess that´s gotta be a somewhat hard task for them anyway and will only remain to be seen...