Mar 6, 2011

A Dream of Poe - The Mirror of Deliverance ...

A Dream Of Poe not surpsrisely are influenced by the works of Edgar Allan Poe and also it is no big shock to hear they are into the sounds of My Dying Bride and Shape Of Despair. They even did a My Dying Bride cover ( For My Fallen Angel ) for their "Sorrow for the Lost Lenore" EP. With their new full length album, "The Mirror of Deliverance" not much as changed, they are still waving the goth-death doom flag but the recordings on this album feature more clean sections that what is on the earlier releases and normally that would be a problem for me but it actually seems to have worked in the bands favor. It is interesting that the band comes from Portugal, a country that has an ever growing doom-metal scene with bands like Mourning Lenore, Ava Inferi, Before The Rain and Desire all starting to make waves in the underground doom scene. Without a doubt, A Dream Of Poe are one of the better bands they have and this album further puts them at the top of Portugal's doom list. The band is really the work of just one man, Miguel Santos who plays all the instruments on the album with help of guests, Nelson Félix and Paulo Bettencourt who add additional solos while António Neves and Paulo Pacheco add some extra vocals. The lead vocals are handled by Joao Melo. The album was recorded over the course of an entire year or longer so it has been a long time coming.

Just like the earlier releases, the band delivered the usual heavily distorted, crushing riffage but there is less of it on this album as it is clean, melodic sections that become the focal point of the songs. While they are known as a 'goth-doom' band, but I found very little 'gothic' elements on "The Mirror of Deliverance" and musically it is more along the lines of Mar de Grises than it is My Dying Bride and I can hear most of you breathing a sigh of relief right there. Album opener "Neophyte" and "The Lost King of Lyre" suggest the band is moving away from their doom-roots ever so slighty as these songs are fairly uplifting for a 'doom' act. They are both good tunes but incredibly light and that is the albums downfall for me, there is just no dirt to most of this album as the really heavy sections are rare and also largely forgettable. They have also done a strange thing in putting "Lady of Shalott" on the album, a song already released on the "Lady of Shalott" EP. That EP featured both a long and a short version of that song so why they decided to subject us to a third take of the track is a bit weird. Luckily, it is a great song and to be honest I think it is the best song on this album. The lead vocals of João Melo are really something on this album too, he really nails the emotional vibe needed for these songs and really adds to the atmospheric dynamics.

"Os Vultos" and the epic "Chrysopoeia" that closes the album are great tracks but only if you are in the mood, these songs are very light and not exactly too exciting in the guitar department. A friend of mine called this 'doom-metal for the chicks' and I think he might be onto something. It is verging on the romantic and a more sugary side of doom-metal and I never thought I would ever use the words doom and sugary in the same sentence but it makes for a good late night doom-metal album all the same. It is really way too light for my tastes but I still can't find much to complain about with "The Mirror of Deliverance," it is way played, well produced and has a great atmosphere about it but I am not sure about the direction they are taking right now. However I still rate them as one of the best from Portugal and a band worth hearing and this album is the ideal starting point.......7/10
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