Review Summary: Remembering the past, looking to the future.
Melodic death metal has reached a bit of a standstill lately. The previous innovators of the genre have become stale, lifeless, and to be frank, boring. In Flames appear to have lost the passion they once held. Dark Tranquility is rehashing the same material over and over again. Children of Bodom appear to have no current inspiration at all regarding their music. So when one looks at it, what hope does the genre as a whole have if those who started it are failing to do what should come naturally to them? Is this a dying genre?
Euphoreon is a relatively new band, starting in New Zealand in 2009. When listening to them, it's simply impossible to automatically assume the band only has two members. They utilize thick Scandinavian and European melodeath styles, combining both blisteringly fast guitar and drum parts with beautiful piano and acoustic guitar sections. The real question here is, are they blazing any new trails, or simply repeating what has been created before?
Their lead guitarist and harsh vocalist Matt Summerville would like you to think he's doing both. He often does appear to pay ode to the cliches of the genre itself, which can at times wear on those who are cynical of the genre, as I myself can often be. What he has that most vocalists in the genre don't have is a very apparent passion. His vocals feel as though he is screaming for a reason, and not simply trying to be heavy. While this album does feature some very bombastic sections showcasing how aggressive this two-piece can be, it features true musicality as well as a sense of melody strewn throughout. The clean vocals are full of emotion as well, sung by rhythm guitarist Eugen Dodenhoeft. They're certainly nothing new, but they get the job done.
My real hesitation with this band is the future. They have managed to put out a very solid, if not a bit generic, debut album. They create vast soundscapes as well as four-to-the-floor explosions of brutality. Can they progress to become a catalyst for inspiration in an otherwise dry genre? Or will they stick to the ways of the past? Currently only time will tell. This album however, provides an excellent place to start, and a good chance of positive progression.
Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining