Illnath
Second Skin of Harlequin


2.5
average

Review

by Adrian USER (22 Reviews)
November 11th, 2008 | 19 replies | 6,522 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Symphonic extreme metal album which spawns harsh vocals with melodic keyboards and guitar solos.

Darkness brews, voices spawn out of nowhere, evil taking over. Harsh, high pitched vocals spreading an uncontrollable plague. Symphonic melodies of demonic chants taking over. Fast paced drumming of vengeance about to destroy. Melodic guitar solos overcoming the pursuit of the fallen one that was damned...This is “Second Skin of Harlequin”, Illnath’s third album.

The album as a whole has a very good production quality. The album is all about creating atmosphere, it is very melodic and dark. The vocals and lyrics are the most aggressive part of the record as a whole, most of the other elements are meant to add melody.

This album has become quite an annoying listen after several months of discovering it. There is just something about it that makes me dislike it, most probably the repetitiveness and the vocals. The album is nothing too special, but worth a listen or too, even for fans of the genre.

Many will compare this band to the infamous Cradle of Filth, but there are some notable differences. First of all, the vocal style is not just high-pitched as Dani Filth's is, this also features low pitched growls as well. Another important difference is the use of keyboards, they are used far more often in the songs, as opposed to just background.

Symphonic keyboards dominate the sound, much like in the previous album. The melodies are very well synchronized with the guitars and drums, blending into a pleasant and heavy sound. This sound can be heavily compared to other similar bands, such as Dimmu Borgir, blending heaviness and melody into one package. The melodies range from slow, almost classical sound, to keyboard solos complimented by the guitars and sometimes the drums. The production quality is top notch.

The vocals are a let downt; Narrenschiff’s vocals are very high-pitched and have a tendancy to become annoying. However, they are also incredibly clear, the lyrics are understood at times without reading the lyrics, which is always a plus. His vocals also go into lower tones as well. Along with the keyboards, they are the main focus of the sound. As for the lyrics, they tell a story in each song. I strongly suggest looking them up since they are incredible, very descriptive and interesting. For their content, look at the introduction paragraph.

Danni’s drumming matches the speed of the songs, and the highlight would be the faster parts. However, the drumming is not heard as much, since the keyboards, guitars, and vocals are most prominent throughout. The guitar solos are very melodic and catchy. Pete also speeds up the pace rather well in the faster songs, while incorporating a solid amounts of notes, not too many that cram solos, but not too few as too sound simplistic and dull. The bass mainly serves to compliment the guitar sound, not being heard much.

"And there was Light" is a track worthwhile mentioning. It has all of his albums elements at its best, It has several melodic guitar solos, top notch keyboards. The song begins with an eerie keyboard sound, quickly followed by low tone vocals which turn into the harsh ones that are present in the entire song. The backing vocals have an echo that add to the atmosphere as well. The guitars, drums, and keyboards are all synchronized, giving a beautiful sound. At 1:57 there is a short break from the vocals, followed by a very melodic guitar solo. Towards the second half, there is even more melody, offering very little repetitiveness on the song.


The album is far from being the band's best work, here are some of the flaws:
 Length. The album is only 43 minutes long, including the bonus track. A bit too short for this genre.

 A lot of repetitiveness. Although the songs have some variety, the song structures are similar, having combinations of harsh verses, solos, and occasional keyboard riffling.


Picking specific tracks from the album is hard since this is probably a hit or miss. However, I find these to be essential and to present what the album has to offer in the best way:

 And there was Light
 Feathers Shall Fall
 Aqua Diabolicom

Pick this up if you are into symphonic metal or symphonic extreme metal. Even if you hate Cradle of Filth, this band is worth a listen, it is not a copy of said band, they incorporate a much more symphonic style(comparable to After Forever and Epica's keyboard styles).



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user ratings (18)
Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
fireaboveicebelow
November 11th 2008



6837 Comments


you definantly need to write longer reviews dude

and space out your paragraphsThis Message Edited On 11.11.08

bustyagunz
November 11th 2008



911 Comments


i used to love digimon when i was a wee one.

and yea, what fire n ice said.This Message Edited On 11.11.08

BallsToTheWall
November 11th 2008



44164 Comments


Me too. Darkgreymon was a beast. Too bad Danish metal isnt. I'll check this out but didn't like the other album from this band. I need the new Illdisposed but probaly wont fare any better.

fireaboveicebelow
November 11th 2008



6837 Comments


digimon was a pale shadow and you know it!

BallsToTheWall
November 11th 2008



44164 Comments


Yeah it was but hey, I was a kid hopped up on Pokemon and S Club 7. Pokemon ripoff but sure, but fun nonetheless. Same thing for Yu-Gi-Oh. First couple of years with the card game was amazing. Tri-Horned Dragon and Gate Guardian ftw. Got both of those secret rare fuckers.

darkwargreymon
November 11th 2008



188 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

you definantly need to write longer reviews dude

I know, I completely agree. I'm not sure what else I should add to improve this review. I want to give a good description without repeating myself. Perhaps highlight those tracks that stand out maybe?

and space out your paragraphs

I was adding some bands but when I put enter the broswer submitted the review. You were faster than me in the comment, than me on my edit.

Bfhurricane
November 12th 2008



6194 Comments


So... how is this different than any other smyphonic metal record?

darkwargreymon
November 12th 2008



188 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Is my review really that awful that the only feedback that I have received on it is concerning length, which I do agree and plan on fixing.

But I also would like some feedback on my description in general, and if my points are correct at all or not, or just if its interesting/boring, etc.
In other words, if you hate it, tell me WHY you specifically hate it.This Message Edited On 11.12.08This Message Edited On 11.12.08This Message Edited On 11.12.08

SCREAM!
November 12th 2008



9621 Comments


The fact that you compared this to dimmu borgir makes me not want to check this out

Hawks
November 12th 2008



33363 Comments


Well they're definitely very similar to Dimmu.

BallsToTheWall
November 12th 2008



44164 Comments


Ick...

Hawks
November 12th 2008



33363 Comments


Well thats not a bad thing for me lol.

BallsToTheWall
November 12th 2008



44164 Comments


O rly? Step up your game son, the way I see it, Dimmu Borgir have been wearing purple dresses since their inception. They should make like a tree and get the fuck out already.

darkwargreymon
November 13th 2008



188 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This band is not Dimmu Borgir. It has its own sound, and It can compare more to Cradle of Filth older's work rather than Dimmu. The vocals are different, and the melodies are blended in diffrent ways than those bands. If you like symphonic stuff, you should check them out.

ikarus
November 13th 2008



559 Comments


like, less melodic old bodom

AngelPhoenix
November 14th 2008



2764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Man this is fun

darkwargreymon
November 18th 2008



188 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Added a few things here and there, including a better overview of the album and a full description of IMO the best track in the album. Please help me improve my reviews by specifically stating what was good or what was bad, and if you hated it the reasons why. I want to write more reviews in the future and this would greatly help. Feel free to read my other reviews as well.This Message Edited On 11.18.08

darkwargreymon
December 2nd 2008



188 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

bump

Zoo
December 2nd 2008



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is solid. I wish they would hurry up and release Seven Nights. I've been waiting for that all year.

Review is pretty decent. And I thought I saw you on Last.fm somewhere.



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