The title track and the song “Stronger than Ever” probably is a nod to the fact the band has replaced their singer in between albums. Of course, it would not be this sort of release without the light-in-air acoustic-intro heavy ballad “When I see You”. It's just this side of twee and works nicely to break things up for a bit. And the chorus is positively infectious.
This is yet another band that could have been huge in another decade. They will just have to be happy with chart success in their homeland and the admiration of the hard rocking hordes outside their borders. A solid slab of hard rock that will no disappoint.
Illwill: Lake of Tears
Despite the name, this bunch do not do death metal. It's more traditional metal with some gothic touches. It's a bit all over the place to be honest, which starts out as a bit off-putting, but ends up being a tad endearing. There are touches of Fields of Nephilim and their ilk. I mean “Behind the Green Door” is surely their entrance ticket to the goth club scene if they are not already there. You can just imagine the black-out eyeliner crowd dancing around in their own world to this one. It's a floor-filler in the making, as is “Out of the Door”, which comes across as a touch of The Cult.
And therein lies the problem with this CD. Those with eclectic tastes might just enjoy the drifting between doomy goth, melodic goth, sometimes hitting their mark, occasionally not. There is even a touch of prog on here with the interesting track “House of the Setting Sun”. It's a release that is all over the place and decent if you give it a chance. Those wanting a straight-ahead goth doom album may wish to look elsewhere. Hell, they even toss in a bit of punk on the track “Parasite”.
Is this a trial balloon to see which direction the band’s fans want them to go? Who knows, but it sure is one varied release.
Arch Enemy: Khaos Legions
This is the band that has a woman singing up front of an extreme power metal band. Rather than go for the goth metal or the pretty frock metal route, this lot have a woman with sandpaper coating her throat singing. Her vocals are called ferocious and no one who has no idea about this band will have any clue she is a woman. The great thing about it, is instead of banshee ear-piercing screeching, she takes on her male counterparts and their own game.