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Promessa Divina - Mercy Welcome

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I hate doing negative album reviews, but this release really gives me no choice.  By the haunting cover, and promises of black metal, I was gearing myself for a horrifying listen.  However, this is anything but horrifying.  The vocals are the harsh black metal shriek, and really the only bright spot.  And to be truthful, they are never really better than average.  The music is all over the map.  This is one of those albums I would be embarrased to play with the windows down while driving.  Sometimes they show a little promise, but never for an entire song.  The keyboards are horrendous most of the time.  The keys and bass occasionally having a happy, bouncy feel.  Kinda makes you feel like it's "Black Metal Day at the Fair".  I'm sorry, but regardless of the lyrically content, black metal is not to be "happy-sounding".  My first suggestion would be to ditch the keys altogether.  The only song really worth listening to, "Black Metal", is mediocre at best.  And unfortunately, unlike most of the five to eight minute songs on the album, "Black Metal" is less than three minutes.  This CD is about 58 minutes total, but seems like five hours.  Sometimes I wondered if it was ever going to end.  This Brazilian group sings only one of the songs in English and it is quite bold for Christ, but musically, this band really needs to go back to the drawing board.  The production and packaging are both decent, but nothing to write home about.  I've heard their previous album "Crush Hell" is a little better than this one, but I don't know if I'm willing to even find out.  Please don't get me wrong...not everyone will hate this album.  I have a couple friends that have it and they like it.  I even saw one e-zine give it an 8 out of 10 rating!  Maybe it's just not my cup of tea.  The same thing happened with Visionaire's "Mystical Dominion" album.  I can't stand it, but almost everyone I know likes it.  However, my gut feeling is that this is not something you will want to take a chance on.  If you're brave, this album is available through Metal Mission.  (Review by Matt)

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