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Melisend - Demo 2005

From the Netherlands comes a new death/doom metal band called Melisend.  The band was formally called Frozen Candles, but never released anything under that name.  According to the extensive bio that the band send with CD, they have had tons of member changes since their inception in 2002.  After finally getting a stable lineup, they recorded this demo.  But the band is still looking for another guitarist and/or a keyboard player.

Musically, the band falls into the death/doom category.  Sometimes they plod along at a slow pace, but they also have a faster side to them.  Especially on the song "Captivation in Perpetuity" where they have some black metal-ish moments where the guitars get to that blistering pace.  Unfortunately, the blasting is not very convincing.  Their overall sound should appeal to fans of bands like Morphia, Visionaire, or Ashen Mortality.  Melisend is not in the same league as those bands though.  Their more like an underground version of a mixture of the three.  Their music is full of beefy, heavy guitars with a bit of a distorted/fuzzy feel similar to Ashen Mortality.  They also use some of those '70's wah-wah effects at times similar to what Die Happy used to do.  The drumming is decent with plenty of double bass on the faster parts, but the sound is borderline "trash can lid" sounding.  Not completely, but a little on the thin side at times.  Vocally, the band mainly uses a deep, gruff growled vocal style, with some occasional higher pitched growls and a few clean whispered vocals.

I'd say that the production is better than most demo-quality stuff, but not up there with label-released CD's.  Packaging is simple with a 4-page insert with band info and photos, but no lyrics.  You have to go to their website to view the lyrics....which are spiritually based, but not overly bold.  I do dig the band's logo though.

Melisend as a whole is a band that has some potential.  A little rough around the edges, but one that can do a great deal more in the future if they can hold a steady lineup and improve their production and song writing skills.  You can listen to mp3's and purchase the album through their website at the bottom of this review.

Rating: 59/100

Review By: Matt Morrow

Label: Independent

Total Songs: 7

Total Time: 34:46

Tracklisting: 1. Intro - The Crucifixion, 2. Travel to Another World, 3. The Shadow and the Light, 4. Captivation in Perpetuity, 5. Death to Life, 6. Dreary Plodding, 7. Pain and Blood.

Best Songs: Track 5 & 6.

Band Lineup: Arjan Stierman - Vocals, Ruben Kiewiet - Drums, Lex Vermazen - Bass, Stefan de Goey - Guitars.

Band Website: http://www.melisend.com