Engel- Threnody

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Thursday, November 25, 2010

When they debuted with Absolute Design in 2008, I thought that melodic death metal/metalcore band Engel had some decent ideas but were weighing themselves down with a lot of generic radio rock. On their sophomore effort Threnody the band seems to have headed even more into mainstream territory, and while it does result in some decent songs there are still too many that sound like everything else out there. There is certainly an audience for this band, but they don’t seem to do enough to distinguish themselves from the competition.

There are a few tracks on Threnody that can be categorized as melodic death metal, but for the most part Engel’s material feels like a mix between industrial metal and hard rock. The album is split fairly evenly between tracks that have a hard edge and those that are focused on melody, and I must give credit to the instrumentalists for attempting to maintain this level of variety. However, what I noticed throughout the course of the album was that the band had their most creative moments when they head in a heavier direction as these tracks have some cool transitions. Unfortunately, the mellower tracks feel far too generic and will remind listeners of far too many other groups. Engel may be competent musicians and are able to play their instruments well, but they don’t have enough that stands out.

Engel’s vocals are all over the place, but this ends up working quite well. There are both male and female vocals throughout the course of the album as well as screaming, growling and clean singing. When the band heads towards mellower moments they lighten up the vocals a bit and use clean, energetic singing that is reminiscent of many of the hard rock singers out there. But when their instrumentals head towards melodic death metal the vocals turn to screaming and growling, which gives the music some additional energy. Despite the fact that there are so many different styles the band is able to make them work and nothing ever feels out of place.

Threnody does show some improvement, as there are a few songs where Engel really starts to experiment. However, there are still far too many moments where they stick with the standard formula and because of this the band still doesn’t stand out from the crowd. I’m not saying that all hope is lost just yet, but these guys still need a lot more work before they will be competitive in the metal/hard rock landscape.


Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Season of Mist

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