Review Summary: Is change always good ?Blood Stain Child
is a Japanese metal band from Osaka, Japan. Throughout their career, this band has been changing its style a lot. Their two first albums, Silence of Northern Hell
and Mystic Your Heart
, were more simple Melodic Death Metal, they were often named as "Japan's In Flames
", because of what they look like and Ryo's vocals, which sound like Anders Friden's. Their sound was pretty similar to Children Of Bodom
. Then, in 2005, Idolator
was released, and the band started adding trance elements in their music, while keeping the metal ones, creating something new and refreshing. The trance elements were pushed to extreme in Mozaiq
, and the metal aspect was still there, but a bit less noticeable.
Hence, their musical style could be described as melodic-trance death metal. Epsilon
is the first album to feature vocalist Sophia and drummer Gami after the departure of Sadew (vocalist) and Violator (drummer, and one of the founding fathers).
First of all, the first thing you will notice while listening to this, is Sophia. Blood Stain Child
's new musical aspect is all about Sophia. She is now the lead vocalist, but Ryo is still there for the growls. Unfortunately, the growls are less present in this album than in their previous release, especially in the second half of the album.
Sophia's vocals are pretty ordinary, but they're still beautiful and fit Blood Stain Child
's style perfectly. Ryo's harsh vocals are brutal, energetic and emotional; they really add something to the songs. Robotic vocals have appeared in songs like Sirius VI
and Moon Light Wave
, just to name a few. Claudio Ravinale and Ettore Rigotti from Disarmonia Mundi
are doing guest vocals in this, but unfortunately, they're underused, and only sing a few sentences. Ettore did the mixing aswell, and made some songs like S.O.P.H.I.A.
similar to Disarmonia Mundi at some parts, with some voice effects.
Nonetheless, the trance aspect is still there, and is better than in Mozaiq
. The electronics are refreshing, and very present in Dedicated to Violator
. They seem more energetic than in Mozaiq
. Unfortunately, bass is non-existent, but that's not a big problem.
The biggest problem is from the song structures. Okay, it's catchy (very catchy in Stargazer
) and makes you want to dance, but the song are terribly simple and predictable. Epsilon
lacks of technicality. The song structures are similar. First of all, the intros are pretty similar in each songs, like in Sirius VI
and in Eternal
. In addition, the choruses are pretty similar, all featuring Sophia, with guitar, drums and trance elements.
While I'm talking about drums, let me add that they're VERY simple. Sometimes, they get technical and fast in Forever Free
but otherwise, they're forgettable. Nonetheless, guitar is top-notch, like in the epic solo in Eternal
and Unlimited Alchemist
. But, the electronic elements upstage the guitar, which is not always a good thing.
Some tracks standout though, like Stargazer
with its epic electronics, and Sirius VI
with its catchiness. Overall, Epsilon
is a good album: it's very catchy, full of electronics and with some great guitar work, but has some major flaws, like Sophia's ordinary vocals, the departure of some metal aspects, the simple drums, the predictable and simple song structures, the under-used guests and it's overproduced. It's still some good refreshing stuff, that you will listen multiple times, thanks to its never-heard-before sound.