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Absolutely awesome! I've been a fan of this band for several years now and I'm quite pleased that the Finnish group has unleashed their most mature effort to date with "Volvere". Like "Fermina" the band has retained bits and pieces of their roots but pushed farther towards a more melodic sound, here introducing more of a rocked out flare at times, and increasing the focus on singing vocals to an even larger degree - which is nice because the singing has definitely improved, offering a more emphatic and memorable delivery. In fact, the only really aggressive moments come as the singing gets a bit throaty or snarly on occasion. Listening just to this record you'd never really assume that the band used to have some black metal influences. The melodies only hint at a traditional Swedish/Finnish flare, and in fact many of the songs allow softer passages driven by clean guitars, synths, and effects to take hold. And believe it or not, they use keyboards perfectly! Some of the writing and atmospheres conveyed almost have a strange sort of upbeat doom edge happening, akin to Paradise Lost or something like that, but you'd have to really listen carefully to make the connection. This record totally boils down to songwriting, though. Even the few lackluster moments are brought back to fine form by amazing choruses that are damn near structured like pop songs. I know that sounds crazy, and I use those words under the assumption that one would not jump to the wrong conclusions as this really has nothing in common with pop music whatsoever, but the choruses of songs like "Enemy Simulator" are undeniably awesome. The chunky rhythms and orchestral keys in "Pillar of the Sun" have a more direct progressive edge, some of the rich harmonies in "Hell's Silence" bring the mighty Iron Maiden to mind, and the slower and more forceful chord progressions of "Security Locks Are Good" immediately jump out at you. In small doses and rare instances there are some blazing solos as well, just to spice things up… so there's a hell of a lot going on here. The recording is very nice, too. It needs touching up, but the vocals just soar out over everything in the best possible manner to accent their strengths. The bass is a little hard to hear, but the drums don't bother me. The guitar tone is a little muddy on the low-end, but they keep it in check nicely most of the time. The scarce rhythmic chord progression will come off as a little too overbearing, but as long as those vocals are in place they're good to go. I'm all for it. The layout is great, including a massively thick booklet with plenty of artwork and all of the unusual lyrics - which often read sort of like a very direct storyline or conversation more than anything. "If mirrors really leave men in crumbs. Fucking bollocks. Armies break down if they cannot stand the shame. My ass. There are no mirrors big enough. Besides, if you don't like the picture, just don't look, right? And remain brave, blind, and pull the trigger." This band is highly fucking underrated to this day, and that needs to change. You won't find many more creative acts out there anymore, and the vocals alone are amazingly unique for contemporary metal. I think I've given every record this band has released a 9/10, and that's fucking rare. Definitely recommended for the open-minded and those who can appreciate taking a breather now and then. (9/10) -aversionline.com

Fall Of The Leafe - Volvere