Anubis Gate - Covered In Black review



Reviewer:
5.9

35 users:
7.20
Band: Anubis Gate
Album: Covered In Black
Release date: September 2017


01. Psychotopia
02. The New Delhi Assassination
03. The Combat
04. Too Much Time
05. A Journey To Nowhere
06. Black
07. Blacker
08. Blackest
09. Operation Cairo
10. From Afar


Last week this record turned up in my album shuffle list of 2017. I listened to Covered In Black two times last year, as I usually do with every album I want to put on my end of the year list - the idea being that every album deserves a second listen/chance. This album, though, was, together with Beyond The Human Mind (Vandroya), the record I was disappointed by the most in 2017. Here we are well into 2018 and I decided to give it one more spin. As you might have guessed by the score I've given, this 3rd spin didn't change my mind about Covered In Black.

Let's talk with some positive notes first. The production of this album is really solid. Overall the drums have a nice punch, especially the bass drums, which have a nice deep sound to them. The guitars, vocals, and bass are blended in nicely with the drums. Nothing gets drowned out in the mix.

What I also liked was the overall darker tone of the album. Throughout the album there are some Middle Eastern vibes going on and the darker tone they went for fits perfectly with that. So, thanks to the production and the overall vibe they went for, Covered In Black does deliver a unique atmosphere.

Now, onto my problems with this record. Let's start with the lyrics, because they are really inconsistent. One moment they have a few very nicely written lines and the other moment the lyrics are incredibly cheesy. Songs like "The Combat" suffer immensely from this. The theme of the song is very serious, but the lyrics are too cheesy to support the theme.

Another thing I wasn't a huge fan of are the vocals. I liked the two previous singers more. Here on this album the performance of the singer feels hit-and-miss to me, especially when trying to hit the higher notes. I particularly don't like the opening to "A Journey To Nowhere". What I will say, though, is that he definitely tries to deliver a dramatic tone, which would be perfect for the themes this album talks about, but then we run into the problems with the lyrics again.

- The songs have a dark theme which is supported by the production
- The vocal delivery is dramatic
- The lyrics are cheesy.

One of these three doesn't fit in that list and that's the lyrics, which results in a very disjointed feel between the lyrics and the style Anubis Gate went for.

And speaking about disjointed… lastly, I want to talk about the overall flow of Covered In Black. This is something that's difficult to explain, but the album suffers from pacing issues that make it hard to listen through in one sitting. Every time I've listened to it now, I felt that the record couldn't keep my attention. After three listens, I don't think that feeling will go away no matter how many times I would give it another chance.

I don't really recommend this album. Anubis Gate can do much better that this in my opinion. Go check out A Perfect Forever, Andromeda Unchained or The Detached; those are Anubis Gate albums that I wholeheartedly recommend.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 6
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 6
Production: 8

Written by tominator | 26.08.2018


 


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments

Comments: 3   Visited by: 20 users
27.08.2018 - 00:48
Mountain King
K i K o
I absolutely embraced the last 2 albums but this one was boring. As you mentioned, the middle eastern influence in some songs is really nice, some parts and riffs are cool but the songs are not so well written. I was eagerly waiting for the release of this album but I was very disappointed.

The singer is unique, it's just his vocals fit more the style in "Horizons" or "Anubis Gate".
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27.08.2018 - 02:56
tominator
At best deranged
Written by Mountain King on 27.08.2018 at 00:48

I absolutely embraced the last 2 albums but this one was boring. As you mentioned, the middle eastern influence in some songs is really nice, some parts and riffs are cool but the songs are not so well written. I was eagerly waiting for the release of this album but I was very disappointed.

The singer is unique, it's just his vocals fit more the style in "Horizons" or "Anubis Gate".


Yeah, like I mentioned in the review as well, I was really looking forward to this one. But the album just doesn't work for me. The biggest problem for me was the pacing and the songwriting, hence why I went into detail about that in the review. It misses that Anubis Gate magic that I felt in the other records I've heard from them.

The singer. Well I can definitely see how his style can be divisive. For me personally it's hit and miss. I wouldn't call his performance bad overall, just inconsistent for me. Partially because I was quite fond of Askholm on A Perfect Forever and also really enjoyed Hansen's performance on Andromeda Unchained (which was the first album I heard from them) and The Detached. But then again, I've read some reviews about those albums and some reviewers didn't like Hansen's vocals.

Haven't listened to the 2011 and 2014 albums yet since I got to know the band more than 2 years after that last one released, so maybe I like Fevre's performance more on those. I'll have to check those out sooner or later.
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03.09.2018 - 16:02
Deviant
Ouch. But I agree it is mediocre at best. I love Anubis Gate with Henrik Fevre, but IMO this is nowhere near as good as their last 2 albums. I thought it was boring too. When I first heard "The Combat" I thought it was going to be decent, but after hearing the rest of it I just thought "meh" overall.
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Good. Bad. I'm the guy with the gun...
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