Serenade in Darkness - s/t



Yet another Brazilian metal band.  I think they grow these on trees down in South America.  While many of the efforts seem to be below par when comes to quality, this Brazilian band seems to put forth a better showing than is sometimes given.
Serenade in Darkness is a six person band...four males and two females, who play atmospheric black metal.  And for a first album, the band shows a good deal of promise.
The first song "Lord of all Creation" comes out with blistering guitars mixed with a heavy dose of keyboards.  They alternate vocally between clean female vocals and black shrieking.  Occasionally during this song the music will stop save for the keyboards, but quickly the guitars and black vocals come storming back.  The black vocals are very intense and very well done.  Production isn't perfect, but you can hear all of the instruments pretty clearly from the rumbling bass to the blasting.  At the end of the song they also alternate some clean male vocals in with the female vocals.
The second song, "Ransom of the Light" starts off with a very cool keyboard intro.  Then enters some bombastic guitars, operatic female vocals, and death metal growls.  The growls are fantastic and are sometime interspersed with some black shrieking.  At the four minute mark there is a beautiful piano piece that lasts about 30 to 45 seconds.  They then come back with the heavy guitars and extreme vocals.  The biggest problem here is the female vocals at the end of the song just don't sound right.  They kinda make me cringe and it kinda ruins the ending of what was a good song. 
The final cut on this 3 song EP is called "The Fall of Lucifer".  It begins with blistering guitars and double bass which are soon joined by the keyboards and black vocals.  They mix the black vocals with female vocals and then go to a mix of clean female and male vocals and growled vocals.  Again though, about the 3 minute mark, the female vocals turn south.  This happens again about the 4:45 mark.  It is somewhat confusing because on some of the songs on this EP the female vocals are well done, and on other parts they just grate on your nerves.  Instead of belting them out they seem to be shaky and reserved.  This seems to be the band's weakest point.  Thankfully, the song ends really awesome.  As the guitars end they bring in some very haunting keys and the female vocalist speaks the lyrics along with the clean male vocalist who uses a slight growl as they say the line...."You never were and you never will be, greater than God."  Sweet way to end the disc.
Not the perfect band, but one of the more promising Brazilian metal bands I've reviewed in a while.  I'm keeping my eyes and ears peeled for when this band releases a full length.  (Review by Matt)