A CANOROUS QUINTET - Reflections of the Mirror (Temple of Darkness Records - 7"EP 2012)
I’m sure most of you remember in the mid 90’s and the awesome roster of No Fashion Records. This label gathered several Swedish bands, which all played kind of melodic, but often furious black / death metal… Let me just remind you such acts like Dissection, Vinterland, Lord Belial, Sacramentum, Throne of Ahaz, A Canorous Quintet, Dawn, Ablaze My Sorrow, Decameron, The Moaning and so on and on… Obviously some of these bands were better, some worse, but generally I really liked this style and sound. A Canorous Quintet was one of the most intriguing of all, with two truly awesome albums and also quite good MCD… They split up in 1999 and then formed The Plague / This Ending, but I still like to listen to the albums of A Canorous Quintet, especially the truly amazing debut full length album “Silence of the World Beyond”. And just when I thought that I will never ever have a chance to hear anything new from those Swedes, Temple of Darkness Records puts out a 7”EP titled “Reflections of the Mirror”. The story behind this single is quite cool. It contains two songs, which were found on the old 1995 rehearsal tapes of A Canorous Quintet, when the band was composing and arranging the material for their first album. Somehow, both tracks were left behind and not included on the album and almost forgotten, until recently when they were found. Linus Norbrant (guitars), Fredrik Andersson (drums) and Marten Hansen (vocals) – the core of A Canorous Quintet - decided to record these songs finally and save them from oblivion. Damn! I think this is just excellent decision!
Why? Well, I like “Silence of the World Beyond” a lot, but I think that the songs from “Reflections of the Mirror” are probably the best, which A Canorous Quintet has ever composed / recorded! I really have no idea why both have been left behind and weren’t included to the album, but in my opinion it was a mistake, as both tracks are truly excellent. The more glad I am then that they have been recorded finally and that I was able to get a copy of this 7”EP. Yes! What an awesome stuff! The thing, which I like most about this EP is that it truly sounds like material, which could have been recorded back in the mid 90’s. The sound quality – perfect for this style in my opinion – is so characteristic for these Swedish bands I mentioned above that you couldn’t mistake it with anything else. Over 15 years have passed, but the sound of “Reflections of the Mirror” is still almost identical and it truly reminds me such “Welcome to My Last Chapter”, “The Somberlain”, “Far Away From the Sun” and obviously also “Silence of the World Beyond”. And it is awesome, because this sound was so special and corresponded perfectly with these melodic, but harsh and aggressive playing.
And I am totally happy that the time didn’t have an impact on the music and it just sounds like old classics. When recording these songs in Autumn 2011, A Canorous Quintet didn’t try to make them sound more modern and like the stuff from more recently recorded albums. “Reflections of the Mirror” feels like it was recorded back in 1995 at The Abyss Studio or Unsound and that is the only way I want them and A Canorous Quintet to sound like! Finally I must admit that both tracks, speaking of the riffs, melodies, arrangements, are just AMAZING! It is perfect melodic death / black metal, in the vein of Dissection, Sacramentum, Lord Belial, Vinterland and others… The title song is so damn good! I love how memorable it is, with the killer melodic theme, which opens the song and then when it speeds up… it is a perfect blend of aggression, ferocity and mournful, melancholic black metal. And the second track, “The Offering”, starts with an acoustic theme, which will remind you Dissection, but again, it has some killer fast parts, as well as some slower and more melodic… For me this is the essence of the old melodic black / death metal from Sweden. And all fans of the bands, which I mentioned in this review must get “Reflections of the Mirror”. I dare to say it is the finest piece of such music, which was released every since the late 90’s.
Final rate: 90/100