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Tracklist - Passiondale
- 1.The Cross Of Sacrifice
- 2.Under A Darkening Sky
- 3.No Man's Land
- 4.Poison Fog
- 5.Drowning In Mud
- 7.No Survivors
- 8.Behind Enemy Lines
- 9.Fallen Empires
- 10.Artifacts Of The Great War
EMP Editorial Team (30.03.2009)
The intro is the calm before the storm: supported by guitarist Isaac who has left the band in the meantime, master mind Henri Sattler has composed a concept album dealing with the destruction of the Belgian city Passchendael during WWI. Of course this motif calls for a certain toughness - and drummer Roel Sanders (welcome back!) took the chance to deliver some blast beats which makes for an interesting contrast to the last, very mellow album. Sattler did all the (often very melodic) guitar work himself - Susan Gerl was just hired towards the end of the recordings sessions. This Metal battle emphasizes the futility of the static warfare in mercilessly brutal, but sophisticated songs. Until the melodious instrumental outro at the end, this desperate musical offensive (think of the motif) holds up - it’s just eased by the clear vocals ("Poison fog"), reminiscences of Motörhead ("Drowning on mud"), and some hefty stuff à la Bolt Thrower (title track).
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In Passiondale there are also various add-ons of melodies and emotional solos that balances the story from being too brutal. The album has more moments that are brutal because war is brutal so the music accordingly flows. But the band’s usage of instruments to enforce this sort of drama, like in the track “Poison Cloud” - where you can actually feel and hear a small story of an Entente soldier about the gas wars, his suffocation and even his own death, is absolutely remarkable and is not common in this sub-genre.
Passiondale has more than a handful of great moments and story. What unrolls before you is fierce and violent, yet serving as an eye opener for past events that maybe some of you didn’t know actually occurred. So you don’t have to look through your history books to listen to highlights like: “Under A Darkening Sky” which is the beginning of the massacre fest with massive artillery bursts and machine guns by the angry and charging music of total hell – “Now It’s Time To Settle The Score”. “Poison Cloud” is a well written story that deals with the influences of Mustard. “Passiondale” , the destruction of this small town after a great battle – and excellent and even catchy track, “No Escape From Passiondale”. “No Survivors”, feels like a Bolt Thrower song , like some of the others, like in many bloody battles , there isn’t too much left to salvage – this track is an awesome mayhemic track with catchiness.
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