Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The Everdawn - Opera of the Damned EP (1996)

The Everdawn was an obscure melodic death metal act out of Sweden, and another of the several projects featuring the late Oskar Karlsson on the drums. This band took on a more standard style reminiscent of an At the Gates, although there were some marginal differences. For instance, the snarls here were only partly akin to Lindberg, they had more of a mealy-mouthed feel to them, but still some of that sinister bird of prey vibe that he mastered the year before this with Slaughter of the Soul. The tunes also have a more rock & roll vibe in a few spots, perhaps a bit more blues to the lead construction, but it's certainly not death & roll, because by and large the music here feels similar to that of their more popular peers, but by no means a direct ripoff of any one.

Opera of the Damned is a tight, intense EP with a good mix of fast and mid-paced EP that show the range they are capable of, and although their basic chord constructions might have felt a little predictable like many of the B- or C-tier melodeath squads, the 15 minutes of material is always exciting, the melodic outbreaks placed just perfectly to keep you hooked throughout. You want harmonies, you got them. You want to blast off, you got it, in fact I think the material here would even sate those tracking down some melodic Swedish black metal, like a more rock-oriented Dissection variant. It's not the most memorable stuff out there, and not even among the most memorable that would enter that Invasion Records family (after this EP), but this is timeless, effective, and produced well enough that it's still worth spending a little time with here or there.

Verdict: Win [7.25/10]

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