The Immortality Murder

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Trying to close the gap between Fields of the Nephilim and Emperor, Scholomance presents The Immortality Murder, their second full-length album. Combining the grand keyboards and lyrical themes of goth music with the chugging riffs and dramatic vocals of Scandinavian black metal, the band has a talent for shaping together complex compositions that draw from both genres equally. The first four songs all deal with the same plot, which is essentially Jesus' life looked at from a pessimist's viewpoint. This could be an understatement to some, but all they really do is take Jesus' story from the Bible and rewrite it as a negative event. But however you look at it, these are the four most impressive songs on the album. Blending all sorts of genres and throwing any preconceived notions out the window, these four songs make for a very well-crafted epic that is written and executed with a passion often missing in the black metal genre. From that point forward, there are several more songs that come close to capturing that magic again, but never really do. Still, "Companionship and Philosophical Fire (The Third)" is a excellent mishmash of thrash guitar, lush keyboards, and bell samples. The only real complaint is the singing, which is in the one-dimensional growling category. Occasionally bringing to mind early Voivod, this may appeal to the metal faction of their fan base. But for the goth fans, they also include an entire extra disc of the instrumental tracks with some extra piano pieces thrown in. There is nothing here that is essential, but for goth metal fans this is definitely one of the better releases in the genre in 2001.

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