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Κυριακή, 12 Ιουνίου 2011

Review: Question Of Madness - The Dark Corners Of The Mind (Lux Inframundis)

Question of Madness from Chicago, Illinois, USA, is the spiritual child idea of former The Chasm bassist Alfonso Polo (you may also remember him as rhythm guitarist and then bassist of the legendary Metallers from Spain, Angels Del Inferno), some more The Chasm members are featured in Question Of Madness: Antonio Leon is on drums and Julio Viterbo plays lead guitar. On vocals we shall meet the mighty Albert Rybka -from Kategory V-, so as you have already noticed there is a lot of Metal in the Questio Of Madness formula, so many members from so many great groups.

Reading the first paragraph that introduced the band to you you may have thought that Question Of Madness would play Metal music inspired by The Chasm, Kategory V or Angels Del Inferno. Well actually not. Question Of Madness is a toal different story, they are delivering Metal inspired by bands like Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus and Well Of Souls (from Huston, TX, USA).

Well to put it straight and simple would point that their debut "Dark Corners of the Mind' album -that was released on Chasm mainman's Daniel Corchado’s Lux Inframundis Productions label- is one of the best Doom Metal albums of the year 2011 if not the best. In the album you will hear highly inspired and excellent performed Epic Doom Metal, emotional, mysterious and powerful the way it should be.

The first thing you need to adjust to with Question Of Madness is the vocals of Albert Rybka. It is not only his incredible vocal range. It is mainly the way he sings and the vocal melodies he has put into each and every song, He actually combines the US Power Metal basis of his voice adding the needed emotion for Doom Metal stuff and enforcing the whole vocal pack using his range and vocal melodies. I believe that the vocals are one of the strongest features of this band. I have talked with some friends that commented that his voice may fit better to a Power / Prog band but I think that it is simply THIS voice that takes Question Of Madness to the next level. I have to repeat again my point of view that Doom Metal was always a Metal genre marked by wonderful voices and this situation should appear again because in many Traditional or Epic Doom Metal releases of the last years, someone could notice voices that may eb good but not that special. Well Question Of Madness is probably the newest Doom Metal band that presents their music under a really special voice.

Leaving the vocals behind and focusing to the music I must scream a big and lout "AT LAST", yes at last here is a Doom Metal release based on rich song structures full of riffs, full of lead guitar themes and rhythm changes all these re presented to the listener in a complex way that keeps the interest high. I have somehow started to get tired with the hundreds of bands that in their try to sound pure or "traditional" they are building songs based in just one or two riffs, well there is special talent needed to play simply and minimalistic but not boring. after all. Fortunately in the case of Question Of Madness the music is complex, rich and technical. I do not know if it matters somehow that Antonio Leon, Julio Viterbo and of course Alfonso Polo come from a Death Metal band -yeap indeed Death Metal is a genre that is often presented in a technical way-, but the music of question Of Madness is something much, much more than a bunch of slow and heavy riffs combined together, so not your typical everyday Doom Metal stuff.

Another thing that I would like to point in this band is how the mix their influences in their songs. It is a fact that their is a lot of the Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus spirit in their music, and when I point Candlemass as an influence I basically mean the band's golden ear until Chapter VI -the band members must have heard especially this album very much-. As far as the Solitude Aeturnus touch it seems that their first two albums have mainly offered influence and inspiration to Question Of Madness. Faates Warning and especially their John Arch period (three first albums)can be also discovered in question And Madness. All those influences by all those bands are mixed together very smoothly and not just photocopied or whatever. I like the fact that beside their solid and heavy riffing, the epic vocals and their heavy hammering everything section the band add some magnificent Progressive Metal touches letting their songs to be expanded, approaching the 7 or 8 minutes length, do not let the numbers fool you, during those minutes you would hear a band that has really something interesting to present and not just musicians re presenting their performance skills into boring song parts.

I will not mention any specific song at all as the whole album is in top rate. It is Epic and majestic Doom Metal presented in a very special way and if you really miss something like this, then this is the record for you. As I already pointed for me the album is one of the best Doom Metal releases of the year -if not the best- and in very high slot on my list for the best albums os 2011 in general. Hope that you would enjoy it as much as I did.

Question Of Madness @ Last.Fm

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