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Stream Of Passion - Darker Days CD (album) cover

DARKER DAYS

Stream Of Passion

 

Prog Related

4.00 | 21 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
4 stars Stream Of Passion is most known in prog circles as one of Arjen's projects, that guy who's always sporting the Prog Archives shirt on this site's main page. Bailing out after Embrace The Storm, Arjen left the reins in Marcela's hands, who wasn't ready to hang up the SoP name just yet. Whereas their second album ditched most of the group's progressive tendencies for a full- on generic gothic metal release, Darker Days refines their sound and unveils some unique elements that adds lots of needed spice to their music. It may not cater to those in need of a full-on progressive metal experience, but for those who aren't repelled by the whole gothic metal scene featuring corset-clad female vocalists, this is easily one of the better releases out there and does earn enough instrumental flair to be considered 'prog-related'.

One of the more singular aspects of this band's sound for this effort is the occasional utilization of Gert Wantenaar's bandoleon and accordion melodies. It provides a warm texture that, combined with some forays into Latin rhythms and sprinkled Spanish lyrics, brings an exotic charm to the overall album, and hopefully on their next excursion these qualities will be brought to the forefront.

Although not explicitly showcasing themselves, the band members seem well above the norm regarding technical skill as far as their chosen genre is concerned, with occasional shredding solos and snazzy drumwork that are rarely featured if at all concerning gothic metal acts, in which the focus tends to hardly stray from the vocalist while the band chugs away in the background dressed in black and looking generally sour. Marcela also plays the violin as well, which adds more flair to certain tracks.

Vocally, we're dealing with a very pretty voice. So much so, that if the brutally overplayed Titanic theme "My Heart Will Go On" did not luckily manage to sink the entire mushy pop-ballad based music to a level that it hasn't yet recovered from, I can picture Marcela being a prime candidate to duet with an aging Peter Cetera about how awesome love is. She's not a fiery vocalist, which makes for a bit of a contrast when the music's at its heaviest (we're not dealing with anything 'extreme' of course), but she's got a sweet range and an appealing enough tone in general.

Album-wise, the album suffers a bit from sheer length that wouldn't be an issue with a little more variety. There are a couple of welcome ballads which opt for that Latin vibe, but as for the rest of the tracks, many of them are individually excellent, especially the first two numbers, the title track and "This Moment", but there's a bit of repetition in style that could use more of that ethnic influence to fire up the tamales. Don't expect some sort of wild progressive beast here, but if for some reason you find yourself in the mood for one of those Lacuna coil types groups, this album is easily one of the better representatives of that style, specifically due to the talent involved.

Prog Sothoth | 4/5 |

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