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Original release of 2003.
CD in jewel-case.

This is the first album for the German band COUP DE GRÂCE, showing a mixture of Gothic Rock, metal riffing, and neoclassic / neofolk influences, with the use of bagpipe and violin. The first song "Until the End" is more metal oriented, with somethings that reminds me of TIAMAT’s "Clouds", involving and rhythmical. Both the second track "Untitled", with a neofolk opening with violin (à la ALGIZ) and "When You Are Gone", with acoustic guitar intertwining with bagpipe, start softer to explode with harder metal electric guitars and a rocker attitude, with sometimes growling voice. The chorus of "When You Are Gone" is really good, such as the melodies of "Running Away", probably, in my opinion, the best chorus in all the album. "Deathbed" is like a Gothic Metal song, orchestrated and powerful, but it’s not "doom" because of a jumping and shaking rhythmic section. What is, I think, the lack of this album is the rough sound of the violin, not giving the right sweetness and atmosphere to songs, and above all the unripe use of vocals: English pronunciation is too "deutsch" and, even if probably this is the singer’s strongest feature, the voice is nearly always whining, and it could be annoying at last. It’s a pity because the singer Martin Krauß has a good timbre and could surely do better in the future.
So, a good album showing an interesting new band, but they have to dedicate more time to smooth some roughness, both in sounds and composition.

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