M.I.GOD – Specters on Parade
This 21-track concept opus by German outfit M.I.GOD. is quite something. For one thing, the song material is rigorously arranged, but the album as a whole is also technically impressive and ranges from melancholy introspection to majetic ourbursts of fury.
Eerie piano tinklings and a dense ambient soundscape kick things off before the band lanches into a thick and heavy assault on the senses. The progressive metal vibes are immediately apparant, but so are M.I.GOD.’s aggressive take on power metal and their metal core leanings and tendencies. The ensembe has a pretty unique sound that defies easy categorization, and these guys certainly have a knack for weaving a myriad of different elements and genres together to great effect. The record’s somewhat harsh and punishing sound adds a cold and cynical atmosphere to it while the melodies embody the morose and chilling and further on to the uplifting, but somehow it all just works. What does not work is the amount of tracks that lack staying power and charisma, which entails that "Specters on Parade" loses momentum on occasion (as evidenced by the tracks "Titans of the Void" and "Tears of Today"). There is no shortage of intensity, however, and the loud and crushing thing is undoubtedly a highly disciplined and structured affair boasting some strong tunes in the shape of "Sonata in Tenebris (Interlude I)", "Chances", "We All Belong to the Dark", and the title cut. Recommended for the open-minded listeners out there.