Mirador - The Azrael Tales (Rivel) 2005
Mirador are a new Swedish heavy metal band whose debut album is filled with epic, progressive heavy metal. However, when one thinks of progressive, usually bands like Dream Theater or Fates Warning come to mind. Mirador are much different from any of these bands and incorporate elements of doom and classic metal like Black Sabbath. Labelmates Veni Domine might be a closer comparison, however, even these two bands don't sound exactly like one another. "The Azrael Tales" starts off with an eerie, heavy song that seems to have a heavy Marylin Manson influence. I could be wrong here, but it sure reminded me of Manson. After this, however, the similarites are no longer there. Actually, I would describe the rest of the album as progressive doom metal. "Phoenix Syndrome", "No Lose Cut" and "Post Believers" all have that slow plodding sound that echoes bands like Candlemass and Veni Domine. "Post Believers" in particular is a standout cut. I enjoyed the diversity within this song and felt it was one of the strongest vocal performances on the CD. "Perfect Plan" has a slight Middle Eastern feel to it. I also felt the choir arrangements really worked well on this song. Actually the large choir sound is used throughout the CD and give the album a very big feel. "Soul Distinction" features some beautiful acoustic passages mixed with the heavy, industrial sounding guitar riffs that really makes for a dynamic song. This song has a very haunting feel to it and is also one of the longer, more epic songs on the disc. "The Trial", "Thief" and "New Day" resume the heavier, doomier sound. "Metropolis Metamorphosis" finishes the CD off with a slightly more upbeat and dynamic cut. The production on this album is very good. All the instruments, as well as the added little nuances here and there are all heard clearly. I must also make mention of the lyrics which are poetic and obviously written from a Christian, spiritual viewpoint. I am not sure that this band would label themselves as a "Christian band" but their lyrics lead me to believe that at least the songwriter has a fascination with Biblical themes.