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Godless Beauty

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Album Review

As promising as their vicious first album, the oddly titled Evil Shade of Gray, had been, it wasn't until the following year's more confident and diverse Godless Beauty that Sweden's Cemetary showed that they may yet come to challenge the likes of Entombed and Tiamat in the big leagues of Swedish death metal. The latter's influence is especially evident here, as Cemetary continues to avoid the frenetic speed chosen by many contemporaries to embrace a doomier, more melodic approach instead. As such, even barnburners like "Now She Walks the Shadows," "Chain," and "Sunrise (Never Again)" take occasional detours into mid-tempo grooves and even acoustic breakdowns. For now, the lyrical focus remains firmly entrenched in the gothic horror field (as suggested by morbid song titles like "The Serpent's Kiss" and "Adrift in Scarlet Twilight"), but main man Mathias Lodmalm invests enough forethought in his verses and rhymes to elevate these above mere tales about ghosts and goblins. Finally, the challenging tempos and unexpected detours employed on standouts like "And Julie Is No More," "By My Own Hand," and the deliberately marching "Where the Fire Forever Burns" show a maturity and vision on par with the best Scandinavian extreme metal of the decade. A highly recommended album.


Formed: 1991

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

After bowing in 1992 with the straightforward death metal album An Evil Shade of Grey, the Swedish band Cemetary began tinkering with the genre on 1993's Goddess Beauty, incorporating both '70s rock and goth rock into the mix. Before recording 1994's Black Vanity, vocalist and guitarist Mathias Lodmalm dismissed the rest of the band, opting to produce the album on his own; the result pushed Cemetary further into the gothic realm. The transformation into a gothic metal band was complete with the 1996...
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Godless Beauty, Cemetary
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