Cadaveria is both the name of the group and the name of the group's singer, and the outfit's second album, 2004's Far Away from Conformity, was probably conceived to play like an aural nightmare. But it's doubtful its creators truly expected it to feel just as unpleasant. When she abandons her capable if unspectacular clean singing or even her far more convincing death growl for a keening, harpy-like screech, vocalist Cadaveria becomes the most grating instrument ever unleashed upon mankind -- like the undead ex-wife from Hell. Clearly fixated on Marilyn Manson for her pancake-happy image (she literally looks like his little sister), the singer leads her troops through an ill-defined mishmash of metallic styles, ranging from outright death metal ("The Divine Rapture") to warped goth rock ("Eleven Three O Three") and onward into realms unknown -- or at least indiscernible. Whatever the case, songs like "Irreverent Elegy" (complete with derivative acoustic guitar portions), "Omen of Delirium" (L7 gone nu-metal), and "Vox of Anti-Time" (hey, brilliant guitar solo!) are way too schizophrenically arranged to stand up under close scrutiny, either individually or within the album's overall scope. And the band's horribly disfigured cover of Blondie's "Call Me" probably has Italian compatriot Giorgio Moroder vengefully sneaking around their neighborhood toting a loaded AK-47 even as we speak (duck when you sight the flash of a disco ball). Musically, Cadaveria are hardly amateurs; in fact, they're well-seasoned pros, which makes it difficult to pan what in the end amounts to a very professional record. But, likewise, it's impossible to forgive Far Away from Conformity for failing to connect on so many levels and straying so far away from outstanding.
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