Fall-Dark Waters

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Finland's Decoryah delves in melancholy new age metal, the kind that -- ironically -- offers little in the way of actual heaviness, but rather combines moody atmospherics with sinister piano melodies, ethereal female vocals, and even string sections. The problem with this increasingly popular (at least in Scandinavia) style is that the artists involved really have to know what they're doing in order to make all the elements work together. Decoryah clearly does not. The band's second album, Fall-Dark Waters, covers an incredibly broad musical canvas but simply lacks the substance to connect the dots, leaving the listener with only small glimpses of bright ideas that could have been. And vocalist Jukka Vuorinen's off-key warblings certainly don't help either.

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