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Fright Night - 'Life Eternal' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/5a/71/ef/fright-night-life-eternal-63-1422477216.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 28, 2015    
 
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Much work on the fine detail needs to happen before album number three is even considered.

'Life Eternal' is album number two from Russian Gothic Metal outfit Fright Night, following on from 2010's 'The Play Of Pain', and whilst all of the expected elements are present and correct on this second outing, I'm not quite so sure that they've all been brought together in a manner that gives the undoubted talent on display a true chance to shine.

Vocalist and guitarist Marianna Lukianova possesses a melancholic edge to her wide range and her male vocal partner Alexey Ovsiyenko also seems intent on keeping any enthusiasm he has, buried deep in his sombre baritone. In itself that combination should work - and it does - yet when the opening pair of 'Cherry Blossom' and 'Gerda' sit between mid-paced grind and slow dirge, then as album introductions go, '...Eternal' is low key in the extreme. Things do perk up a little on 'Numb', where the male voice lands somewhere between Peter Steele (Type O Negative) and Till Lindemann (Rammstein) but with simple rhythmical patterns and uninspired bass lines tugging everything towards leaden, only some dramatic keyboards from Marina Tsherba and a reasonably stinging guitar solo from Lukianova fights off boredom.

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Really, that's the full story here, with almost all of the songs feeling like they fall short of the potential they possess, whether through less than enthralling arrangements, an unsympathetic mix, or vocal performances which resolutely refuse to engage and (even for someone who actually quite likes an accented vocal) are sometimes difficult to decipher.

In many ways the artwork of this album describes its issues perfectly; first glance suggesting a thing of beauty, but when you take a prolonged look into what has been created, the details feel secondary to the atmosphere; the initial promise never quite delivered upon.

I can't tell you 'Life Eternal' is awful, or that Fright Night contain no talent or skill and yet neither can I suggest that even the most ardent Gothic Metal fan needs to have this release in their collection. Much work on the fine detail (and much else besides) needs to happen before album number three is even considered.

Steven Reid

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