Canaan - Of Prisoners, Wandering Souls and Cruel Fears
Label: Eibon Records
Reviewer: Rak Hiasat - 2012-08-02
Highlights: I couldn't pick a highlight
Canaan is a Dark Gothic Band from Italy that have a unique style to their music. "Of Prisoners, Wandering Souls and Cruel Fears" is the band’s seventh full-length album to be released on the 18th of June by Eibon Records. As much as I am into this genre of music, I still didn’t get the impression of the sense of darkness from this outfit, especially since the band’s lyrical theme revolves around depression, desolation and, isolation. The album is divided into two disks and labeled as a concept album.
From the beginning track, the listener is bombarded with a sense of 60’s nostalgia as the guitars and keyboards mix the Rock that your parents listened to with more modern sounding Goth Metal. The keyboards are what give this album and band a very different flavor. Right away, one notices that this band is very original and nowhere near the beaten path but, there are a couple pitfalls in this album. Firstly, not every song is an attention grabber, as in like how I'm writing this review now and not really listening to anything except the female vocals, which made the album look more legitimate. Secondly, some tracks drag out for too long for the music structure, although, this isn't necessarily a bad thing as it manages to get the point across better – besides those points, this 2 disk album rules.
I can only imagine what the vocalist sounded like fronting the Misfits after Michael Graves got scrubbed for the first time. Anyway, there are positive aspects to this album: the songs, "The Illusion Fugitive" and, "The Fear Merchant" really stand out for their mix of heaviness with atmosphere. On the opposite side, Hideous actually tones it down to an acceptable level, conveying sadness and a wistful world weariness.
All songs have their good and not so good points but instead of just listing everything, I wanted to place one song above the others, "The Pain Sentinel" is a beautiful track in terms of moods and atmosphere. The sound is not as perfect as it should be as well as desires more power and thickness. The drums especially sound too thinned out, but luckily that does not ruin much. Guitars are so-so, sometimes they are good, sometimes very thin as well. Overall, sound is not perfectly balanced but these things are just one side of the story.
The second disk of this release is music about the cold wave of Gothic Metal, I think the main goal of the band is to poison the listener with the atmospheric / ambient style. Taking a Horror style approach to the music is something really rare. Yet, being far from ancient style, it was something that I didn’t enjoy. Personally, disk 2 was a trip to pointless world filled with sorrow and sickness, maybe this was the whole idea for this. The one good point here was the sampling work done for these tracks.
I can honestly say Canaan left their music with me as a Dark Wave group, though, the real mark of the ambient, underground scene didn’t unload as much pain as the band anticipated.