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Unshine - Dark Half Rising

Dark Half Rising
by Tuoksu Holopainen at 16 September 2013, 4:29 PM

"Dark Half Rising" is the third full-length album by the female-fronted Finnish quintet UNSHINE. Another misuse of the label "Gothic" is present here, as the band's style is quite far from the subgenre and more Power Metal driven yet very atmospheric, loaded with keyboards and symphonic elements, as well as a prominent touch of Folk, typically Finnish.

The album opens up with the acoustic intro track "Nadja's Wailing About the Coming of the Frost" and Susanna Vesilahti's mellow voice, introducing the folk influence in the band's music. The sweet angel-like vocal performance continues in "The Oath to Wilderness Unredeemed of Nature" in which we hear UNSHINE's rather Folkish Power Metal sound, nothing to do with their  irrelevant "Gothic Metal" mislabeling. The sound is pretty atmospheric though. Every song has its own catchy vibe, and the quite flat and repetitive singing  generates a soft yet tedious feeling somehow reminiscent of fellow Finnish pop-rockers INDICA but just a little heavier, especially in tracks like "Arduin" and "Defender of His Faith".

The songs are short, light and easy to stomach, yet this is exactly what's depreciating their material. There's absolutely no variation whatsoever vocals-wise, contributing only to the mediocrity of the album. The songwriting is fairly good, yet this is an album that sounds like repeating a single track with different titles over and over again. 

3 Star Rating

1. Nadja's Wailing About the Coming of the Frost
2. The Oath to Wilderness Unredeemed of Nature
3. Arduin
4. Spellbinder
5. Defender of His Faith
6. Their Horses Never Touch the Ground
7. Idyl
8. The Blood of the Ardennes
9. The Eternal Battle
10. Bone Fires
11. Ategenos (At the Death of Winter)
Susanna Vesilahti - Vocals
Harri Hautala - Guitar, Keyboards
Jari Hautala - Guitar
Teemu Vähäkangas - Bass
Jukka Hantula – Drums
Record Label: Massacre Records


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