2003, Independent Release
Searing Meadow, "Enduring Enchantment"
Now I get to hear something from the land of the Impaled Nazarene, Finland. This is definitely rooted in the old school of metal. In fact the only thing that keeps this from being power metal in need of a good bashing are the vocals of M. Ikkonen, whose style is closer to that of Nick Holmes work on the first three Paradise Lost albums, though not as clear. Unfortunately he relies on some vocal distortion in the song Mirror of Irony that is unnecessary as his voice is clearly enough to get the job done. Especially since all the distortion did was muffle the vocals to the point where you can barely hear them. The guitarwork is excellent on here, both guitars playing off each other beautifully without getting in each others way or walking all over the song. The bass is good stuff too, laying a nice bottom for the songs to rest on. Some very competent if not amazing drumming paces all the songs. Personally I'd like to hear a little more out of the drummer. The songs themselves aren't the most original things, in fact I would venture to say they remind me a lot of Children of Bodom though instead of drowning everything out with those fuckawful keyboards they actually use them just to supply some atmosphere and let the guitars drive the song. The also have rather Goth moments, especially the piano intro to Mirror of Irony. Overall the only complaint I have about this is that its only 3 songs and about 14 minutes long, I'm in the mood for more. They have two other demos out but I have not had a chance to hear them. If they sound anywhere near this good then you have to wonder how this band is unsigned.