So, someone (madrushmedia) finally distributed this in the US and I scooped up a copy last month. And now I'm gonna rant about it a little bit.
Sooooo, PA albums usually take a little while to grow on me, and maybe I haven't given this one quite enough time yet (played it probably 10-12 times so far), but am I the only one who feels pretty disappointed? Let's break down what's wrong with this album:
First the length: 7 songs isn't a lot to begin with, but given that the closer is a 90 second acoustic piece, it's really just six songs. That can be OK, but it means you can't mess up on many songs and still have a good album. We need a minimum of three strong numbers, which PA is definitely capable of based on their other albums.
So, let's check the song titles we have to work with:
'Rising of the Dead'- Didn't they already make a song with this title? Oh, I'm thinking of 'Judgement of the Dead'... or am I thinking of 'Rising of the Dark Lord'? Hmmm, confused.
'Portrait of Dorian Gray'- gee, wonder what that one's about...
'Danse Macabre'- uh, Celtic Frost cover?
'Dance of the Vampires'- Didn't they already make a song with this title? It was Druids instead of Vampires you say? Hmmm.
Title track- OK
'the Ripper'- gee, wonder what that one's about...
'After Forever'- uh, Black Sabbath Cover?
Y'know, it does not inspire confidence in the consumer when the band only has to come up with names for 7 songs and yet they ape 2 titles from classic bands and then rip off 2 titles from their own songs to boot!
But it's the music that matters, right? What's this puppy sound like....
Rising-- cool song, I like it! Slowly builds, nice and doomy, very reminiscent of their best material. Great, all aboard!
Portrait- Uh, I feel like I've heard PA use this same song structure a LOT. They really dig the rhyme scheme of abcb-abcb (if you don't know what that means, stop reading posts from crusty old headbangers and use the internet to go educate yourself, grumble grumble kids these days). OK song I guess, but nothing special here.
Danse- Since the music is exceptionally soft and laid back here, let's stop and check out the lyrics:
"follow the dancers,
and join us in this one last dance
Leave the living, follow the music,
and we'll all dance the Danse Macabre"
# of times 'dance/danse/dancers' appears in the lyrics = 20. Repetitive much? That may be the most since Men Without Hats finally went the fuck away. So you can danse macabre if you want to, but please leave me behind.
Dans, er Dance- I've played this album at least 10 times and I have no idea what this song sounds like.
Room- OK, once again the music isn't holding my attention, so let's danse right into those lyrics. They tell the tale of a young boy scared of dad's trophy room, who then grows up and forgets all about it, and his own kid is also afraid of the same ol' trophy room.
And what grisly spectacle of horror do they find in that room?
BUT WAIT, what horrifyingly gruesome fate befalls them?
Uh, the kid gets scared when his ball rolls in the room and he has to scamper in there to get it back.
..... BUT WAIT! What eldritch horror lurks there, stalking the family, waiting to lunge forth from the (room of) shadows to strike fear and terror into their hearts?
Uh, they don't say.
So, basically nothing at all happens in this story?
TL;DR- kid gets creeped out by dark room. Same thing happens to next kid.
WHAT THE FUCK MAN?!?! 'the Room of Shadows' is basically just the freaking attic in every house occupied by a 5-year old. I've read cereal box ingredients that were creepier than this song. What is the point here; they take a strange swipe at materialism? You know, if some demonic creature really lives in your den, I don't care how fucking materialistic you are, you're gonna notice! How does materialism wipe out your ability to sense Pure Evil in your spare bedroom? "Gee honey, the lights are flickering and the place smells like sulfur and I hear weird demonic laughter but that doens't matter 'cause I just got this pricey new limited edition Christian Dior handbag!". HUH? Oh fuck this, let's just move on....
Ripper- abcb, abcb, we get it, we get it, oh, I so don't have the patience to sit through 10 minutes of Jack the Ripper story time. Next!
After Forev- oops, the song's already over. Didn't exactly last forever.
So basically I'm hearing one really good song and lots of nice guitar work, which puts 'Room of Shadows' on par with the best album VAN HALEN ever made. Yikes.
Maybe I'll give this another chance, but I've got a stack of other CDs waiting to get spinned, and I feel no need to sink more time into this one.
"I'm sorry Sam, we had real chemistry. But like a monkey on the sun, our love was too hot to live"