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HOSPICE "The Land of Eternal Night"

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This is the debut album and actually the only work at the time of this Russian Symphonic Black Metal band. Ive got really few info about this trio so I will go directly to the music. Land Of Eternal Night is a quite intense piece of Melodic and Symphonic Black Metal with some gothic ambiances, which immediately make me thought about the early to mid period Cradle Of Filth (but without the awfully hysterical vocalizations of Mr. Danny Filth). The keyboards here drive the music, with its omnipresence and somewhat majestic feeling complimented by a semi rustic guitar work, sometimes pretty strident, hellish but sometimes quite melodic, Heavy Metal sounding and relaxed. The vocals are definitely the crudest and most remarkable element of the entire album, with potent and raw mid toned shrieks. The drumming here really sucks; the use of a drum machine is completely obvious and awfully plastic sounding. The sum of all these elements result in some interesting passages, and some not so interesting ones, where the keyboard driven melodies and atmospheres are the protagonist. I must admit I never liked this mix of Gothic/Symphonic and Black Metal, generally the Gothic elements enshadows the Black Metal characteristical darkness and filthiness with sweetened melodies and weak structures, this case isnt the exception, although there are some remarkable Black Metal passages worthy of mention like the fourth track Forest, Hospice (Reign Of Pain), Night (my favourite track) or the incredibly obscure and mysterious Pactacum Daemonious although this track isnt precisely a piece of black metal, it has a remarkable obscure aura created by spoken, distorted Latin words. The production of Land Of Eternal Night is very powerful, clear and strong sounding. But theres something about their music that definitely doesnt convinces me, this isnt a bad work, but definitely isnt a really good one either. It could be probable recommended for those who like the sound of Cradle Of Filth or mid period Dimmu Borgir True Blackmetallers stay away from this release

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