A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 
  • Gardenian - Soulburner

    Gardenian - Soulburner
    1999 Nuclear Blast Records


Gardenian - Soulburner

1999 Nuclear Blast Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-06

While Gardenian's first offering, Two Feet Stand, was a kick ass album, it had a couple of strikes against it. For one, the resemblance to In Flames at the time was a little more than passing, and for another, it was incredibly hard to find! Well, here comes Soulburner, and with a nice Nuclear Blast contract in hand, you can be sure that every store in sight will have multiple copies in stock. As for the In Flames comparisons, the band feels as though they've evolved beyond that phase, and I sort of agree, but... It's really hard to escape your roots, and as vocalist Jim Kjell put it "Hey, we are from Gothenburg!" This leads to an incorporation of melody, resulting in a sound that has been made popular by In Flames, but also part of what is Gardenian. While the band has strived to create song which are more power metal in nature, the biggest push towards that goal is definitely the addition of Erik Hawk (ex-Artch) on "clean" vocals. Now, I really don't know if I get into this new trend at all (it destroyed my latest Dark Tranquillity listening experience), but it works for the most part here, only being slightly annoying on If Tomorrow's Gone and Tell the World I'm Sorry. I really prefer Kjell's style much more I guess. Taking the package as a whole, Soulburner is a much more mature album, many steps removed from Two Feet Stand in many ways. Definitely more accessible, I predict Gardenian filling the space between the ultra-melodic and the ultra-brutal Swedish Metal scenes. I could be a real shithead and say "this is for fans of In Flames", but that sucks, both for the listener and the band, as Gardenian have definitely strived for something different here, even if guitarist Niklas Engelin was in In Flames circa the Whoracle tour. I also have to state that whatever the band did on the last two tracks is worth the entire price of admission here, somehow creating a soundscape of sadness that knocked the wind out of me. Their first definitive statement, Soulburner is a success for all parties concerned.