With Passion

In the Midst of Bloodied Soil

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    5
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Sacramento's With Passion partially staves off the numbing sameness that plagues many similar death metal bands by tempering the sonic onrush of the chops-oriented hyperspeed attack (complete with the same cookie-cutter vocals of seemingly hundreds of other metal bands) with unexpected passages of relative musical subtlety. The thoroughly proggy synth fanfare "The Scorpions Dance," like the trickily showoffy acoustic guitar instrumental "The Prophecies of Hellfire," is not in and of itself a particular masterpiece. It's just that in the midst of a half-dozen plodding, overlong variations on the same musical and lyrical themes, these songs stand out for their relative brevity, and for at least bringing a different type of pretentiousness to the goth metal party. As for the rest of In the Midst of Bloodied Soil, it might appeal to the undiscriminating black metal fan who doesn't mind some florid lyrics along with his highly technical guitar shred, but overall, it's a fairly undistinguished addition to the genre.

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