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Artist:

Vanguard

Album:

Succumbra

Year: 2005
Format: CD
Label: Armageddon
Genre: [Melodic Metal/Gothic Rock/Black Metal]
Overall Rating: 6.0
Music: 6.0
Production: 6.5


Here's a band that was already formed back in 1999, but so far hasn't released anything except their demo (not until now). Succumbra is the debut album of this Finnish melodic metal/gothic rock group known as Vanguard. The band got signed with Armageddon Music due to them winning the battle of the bands contest last year at Wacken Open Air. The contest was held by Metal Hammer Magazine and Armageddon Music.

Although at first glimpse Vanguard's music might seem slightly original, it soon proves to be rather traditional mix of melodic metal and gothic rock. Nonetheless, it's somewhat well-performed, and the piano and cello arrangements bring nice sense of atmosphere into the songs along with the female vocals. The Gryms handle the singing on this album... while J. Grym brays, Suvi takes care of the clean vocals. Actually Suvi's voice suits the music rather well, but unfortunately I can't say the same regarding J's performance. J. Grym's voice is utterly average (if it even attains that level). On top of all, the compositions on this album are rather moderate and there really aren't any memorable songs, which is a shame.

The production on this album is rather divaricate - on one hand the piano, cello and vocal recordings are fairly atmospheric and well-captured, but on the other hand the drums could have been mixed a lot better and the distorted guitar tone is far from good... despite the frailties of production, this album's soundscape remains rather tolerable. Nonetheless, I expected better sounds from this album (especially since the finishing touches were added by Alex Krull).

I reckon some fans of Tristania and early Within Temptation (namely their debut "Enter") might find Vanguard worth checking out since the clean female vocals and male growls take turns on this record. Nevertheless, listening to this album before buying is obligatory, since there are a lot of better recordings falling under the same genre as Vanguard's Succumbra.

Release date: June 21st, 2005

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- MAGE (June 20th, 2005)



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LINE-UP:
Romu, Aapo: Cello
Kuitunen, Lari: Piano
Seppänen, Mikko: Guitars
Grym, J.: Vocals
G, Suvi: Vocals
O.D.: Bass
Tipi: Drums
Producer: Bullock, Victor; Jungebluth, Christian; Ratz, Lars & Vanguard
Mixing by: Unavailable
Mastering by: Unavailable
TRACKLIST:
Vanguard - Succumbra  CD  Cover Image
01. Asylum
02. Forgive
03. Amoricide
04. Excarnation
05. Ephemeral
06. Bitheon
07. Homecoming
08. Nova
09. Wurmtod

Length: 44:50
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