Genre: gothic melodic death metal
There is apparently a source of metal magic in Scandinavia with all those influential acts that have come out of that region over the last couple of decades. The Norwegians, Swedes and Finns have always had somewhat of an edge over the Danes in terms of quantity and influence, but releases like Illnath's "Third Act in the Theatre of Madness" reminds us that there is metal magic in Denmark, too.
The style on this release is primarily melodic death metal, but with elements of black metal and gothic metal. While a lot of the riffage draws on conventions of Scandinavian melodeath, Illnath do not adhere to the Scandinavian melodeath sound, as the guitar sound on the album sounds more rooted in thrash metal. But do not expect an all out thrash album, as there is a lot of focus on melody - there are loads of melodic guitar leads, and there are lots of riffs that have more in common with traditional metal and power metal than with extreme metal. The keyboards are prominently featured, but only rarely do they steal the picture from the other instrumentation (and only rarely do the keyboards result in cheesiness), and they definitely add to the overall sense of madness that the band try to convey on this album.
The vocals have the form of gravelly female growls forcefully delivered by the band's new vocalist Mona Beck, and, while some might accuse her of sounding like Angela Gossow, I think Mona Back does a great job in adding some aggression and brutality, which is in a nice contrast with the extremely melodic music on this album.
If you are into melodic death metal with a gothic twist, then you should definitely check out the massively melodic yet darkly gothic "Third Act in the Theatre of Madness" by Illnath.
(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)