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Since its creation in 1997 by Manuel Munoz (Vocals, Guitars) and Nicolas Chevrollier (Guitars), The Old Dead Tree always stood apart in the current European metal scene thanks to its unique musical identity: a style which combines extreme metal and dark rock / pop with exceptional vocals, gliding from one style to the next.

By 1999, this was already clearly evident, when Frédéric Guillemot (Drums) and Vincent Danhier (Bass) decided to join and secure the line-up. The press and fans enthusiastically praised and welcomed the band’s first release: a mini-CD, “The Blossom”.

This promising debut took a sudden tragic turn, when Frédéric Guillemot committed suicide just a few months later. The band members were inspired to exorcise the dramatic loss of their close friend by expressing the darkest feelings and frustration this trauma provoked in a new concept album. The result was “The Nameless Disease”, produced by Andy
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THE OLD DEAD TREE albums / top albums

THE OLD DEAD TREE The Nameless Disease album cover 3.95 | 3 ratings
The Nameless Disease
Gothic Metal 2003
THE OLD DEAD TREE The Perpetual Motion album cover 4.83 | 2 ratings
The Perpetual Motion
Gothic Metal 2005
THE OLD DEAD TREE The Water Fields album cover 3.83 | 2 ratings
The Water Fields
Gothic Metal 2007


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THE OLD DEAD TREE The Blossom album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Blossom
Gothic Metal 1999

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THE OLD DEAD TREE The Nameless Disease

Album · 2003 · Gothic Metal
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"The Nameless Disease" is the debut full-length studio album by French doom/goth/death metal act The Old Dead Tree. After recording their demo "The Blossom" in 1999 the band got a recording contract with the French independent record label Season of Mist. "The Nameless Disease" was released in March 2003 through that label.

The music alternates between softer acoustic parts and heavy parts with double bass drums. The music is generally very melodic. The vocals are both clean and growling. While I´m not too thrilled about the clean vocals I find the death metal growls great. They actually remind me of the vocal style of Mikael Stanne from Dark Tranquillity. Vocalist Manuel Munoz is the kind of growler that sounds like he means business. His clean vocals are a bit shaky and strongly accented though and while they are not bad they certainly don´t impress either. The lyrics on the album are centered around the suicide of the band´s first drummer Frédéric Guillemot (who commited suicide in August 1999).

The musicianship is strong. Tight interplay and some really powerful riffs. The tracks are generally well written and are able to hold my attention throughout the album. The sound production is professional and especially when the distorted parts kick in the music sounds really powerful. "The Nameless Disease" is overall a good debut album by The Old Dead Tree and I´m looking forward to listening to more from the band. I think this album shows great promise although there is room for improvement. A deserved 3.5 star (70%) rating.

THE OLD DEAD TREE The Water Fields

Album · 2007 · Gothic Metal
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After two true masterpieces, something went wrong on this album. I have some problems to describe exactly what it is. It's not a musically bad album or something unusual that wouldn't fit to the band as the typical trademarks are still present, but I feel a lack of courage and creativity on this record. There is also a little lack of genius and atmosphere. Almost every song rushes past but there are no catchy melodies, intense moments or touching lyrics. Even after almost ten tries, I have some difficulties to review this album.

The album starts with a heavier song called "Start The Fire" that isn't able to create a drowning and melancholic atmosphere like the previous album openers did. The song tries to vary from harsh death metal parts to melancholic and progressive gothic parts but the track sounds too much like a routine job and simply too artificial. This is the problem of most of the songs. A track like "What's Done Is Done" or even the weak "Rise To Occasion" have all the trademarks I like about the band but I would nevertheless describe these song as notoriously dumb and almost faceless as the band doesn't vary that much and hypnotizes in a rather calm and emotionless way.

The stronger tracks are mostly towards the middle and the second part of the album. The very soft and dreamy title track "The Water Fields" is perfect to relax in an isolated room and has a longing melancholy that sounds fresh and intense. It is without a doubt the best track on the album. "Is Your Soul For Sale" convinces with a very progressive lounge introduction with almost jazzy tones and is amongst the strongest and most diversified tracks on the album. "Regarding Kate" is the track where Manuel Munoz delivers a brilliant job and shows what a diversified and intense singer he is as his voice alone carries the whole and musically rather boring song and its atmosphere. The surprising and weird sounding orchestral influences of the album closer "This Is Now Farewell", that are already slightly present in the rather mediocre "A Distant Light Was Shining", leave us on a melancholic note. As one can see, the talent is still there and the album is far from being really bad or a true disappointment but I still feel torn apart about this record.

The album has not the same magic and such a high amount of changes as the two previous ones. The album is still better than anything bands like "Opeth", "Paradise Lost" or "Katatonia" might have done in their careers but all in all it is the band's weakest release. This album may also please you if you like recent stuff from "Moonspell" but this French has honestly said a very proper, unique, experimental and particular sound which you may adore or dislike so that any kind of comparison is only a little hint or allusion.

I am still very sad that this promising and original group broke up as they left a big hole that no other band would be able to fill in again. I hope that they may one day reunite but all that is left to say right now is:

This is now farewell...

THE OLD DEAD TREE The Nameless Disease

Album · 2003 · Gothic Metal
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Even though this album has not yet the intensity and consistence of the amazing milestone "The Perpetual Motion", this first album was already a big hint and showed us what would await us two years later. "The Nameless Disease" has a very intellectual, personal and dark approach as it is a conceptual album about the suicide of the former drummer of "The Old Dead Tree". It was surely difficult for the musicians and their friends to deal with the death of their band mate and friend and this album has almost something of an authentic therapy. The danger concerning that kind of difficult topic is that it might not honour the dead drummer and fail its high expectations by putting too many clichés in it. But everything about this album is authentic and drowns you into the mind of a suicidal and the thoughts, hopes and fears of his surroundings. With the very first album, the band has already created something intense and personal that I have never seen or heard before and it is probably one of the best debut albums of all times. Every song has something special and intense and I would just like to describe the first three masterpieces to not write a whole book about it. The only reason why I didn't give amongst the highest ratings is that the second album of the band would be even more diversified and dark. In addition to that I might admit that the strongest tracks of this record are all in the beginning and that's why the second part of the album seems maybe slightly inferior but is still at a high level.

The amazing opener "We Cry As One" already drowns the listener into a very dark and mystical atmosphere. This is really a masterpiece as there are not many tracks that introduce in such a direct and yet smooth way into the general mood of the album after only a few seconds. When the singer begins to whisper his words of sweet sorrow, I have immediately goose bumps. The first track is much diversified, brilliantly sung and technically perfect. The bass guitar is especially audible in the bridge, the double bass speed attacks and yet diversified drum loops are pounding like a wounded heart, the melancholic guitar riffs are in perfect harmony with the emotional vocals. Dark gothic metal meets progressive influences in this opener that is already better than anything Opeth and other bands of that kind have ever done in their entire career. And remember that this was only the first song.

The band immediately continues on a high level with "It Can't Be" and blows away all my doubts and fears instantly. The very unusual and intense opening that is once again brilliantly sung by the heavily underrated Manuel Munoz is surprising. The verses and lyrics are catchy and present an authentic song about despair and how to deal with death.

"How Could You?" is as emotional and continues on a very melancholic note, especially the middle part with its melancholic guitar lines is haunting and unforgettable. Strange sound effects meet pounding tribal drums and create a hypnotizing and haunting mood of the grandest kind. This song takes an intense look at a broken soul. The lyrics are very philosophical just as the whole album is. I don't care that the vocabulary of this French band may not be that diversified and that the singer has a very strong accent as this gives a certain charm and uniqueness to the band. The lyrics are quite direct and touch you even more by being quite simple.

Every song has something special and I could endlessly continue to write and describe those songs but the thing is that everyone has to discover them on their own. Everything about this album is professional and still emotional. The vocal skills of Manuel Munoz are truly amazing, the delicate and diversified bass lines by Vincent Danhier are well hidden but present throughout the whole album, the guitar play by Nicolas Chevrollier is transcending and the drum skills by Franck Métayer perfectly fit to the album. The production of the songs is just perfect and has many edges and transmits directly the emotions of each song. The bass introductions in "Won't Follow Him", the soft acoustic ballad passages in the intense hidden gem "Somewhere Else", the haunting and dominating vocals in "Joy And Happiness", the weird and very progressive sound effects of the floating instrumental track "Transition", the almost jazzy introduction and the haunting choral overdubs of "Quietly Kissing Death", the haunting telephone sounds of "All" and finally the brilliant acoustic introduction and spoken word passages of the final experimental masterpiece "The Bathroom Monologue" are all worth listening the whole album over and over again.

There is no single filler on the record, but let me underline the epic and extremely progressive "It's The Same For Everyone" that takes you on a melancholic voyage over seven emotional minutes. Alongside the first two tracks and maybe the final "The Bathroom Monologue", this is probably the masterpiece of the album if we have to point out a few songs.

To keep it short, this is a highly underrated album and maybe one of the best debut albums ever made. No other band sounds like "The Old Dead Tree" and with this masterpiece their legacy will live eternally. Now get this album and live an amazing experience...

THE OLD DEAD TREE The Perpetual Motion

Album · 2005 · Gothic Metal
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This album is in the top 3 of my favourite metal albums of all time. In this moment, I would class this album on the second position just after The Vision Bleak's "Carpathia - A Dramatic Poem" and right before Amorphis' "Am Universum". I personally think that 2005 has been the greatest metal year of the last decade.

"The Perpetual Motion" has everything that an exceptional metal album needs. It is atmospheric and emotional, it is very gothic and bleak which I like a lot. The songs are diversified, surprising and there are a lot of things to get discovered even after multiple listenings. The musicians are all doing an outstanding job. The drummer is an animal and plays extremely tight, the bass guitar is audible and energizing, the guitar does some really dreamy and spacey solos and the singer does melancholic chants, whispering sounds, emotionally melodic parts and aggressive growls and does the job of four or five singers. The album is intense and empathic and always authentic. You can feel the sorrow, loss and melancholy the band is talking about and you really get drowned into a maelstrom of negative emotions but not without recognizing that there is still a little shining, a little sign of hope above all in this music. You can see images and feel particular emotions just by listening to different parts of different songs on this epic masterpiece that unites ambient music, progressive metal, death metal, gothic and dark metal. I would just call this Progressive Gothic Metal at it's very best to keep it short and sweet.

The songs, well, they are all amazing. The dark gothic metal song "Out Of Breath" opens and penetrates your soul like a frosty wind.

"Unrelenting" opens the "Lost Boy" story line and surprises with tribal drums, amazing sound effects and transports you from one emotion to the other within seconds. "I Can't Get Rid Of It" follows that cluster and becomes a maelstrom of voices. The melodramatic "What Else Could We've Said" is really atmospheric and gives us a little break, before "So Be It" goes straight to your face without pity and blows you away. It is an excellent finale for the "Lost Boy" story line of the album.

"Everyday Life" opens the "Down" cycle and story line of the album and begins like a jam session before melancholic vocals and a dreamy piano introduce into a very dynamical and diversified song that goes straight over to "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8" that surprises with dominant bass riffs before the very melancholic and dreamy "By The Way" leads you towards the aggressive verses of "My Friends" that has a very catchy chorus to finish this chapter with the spacey, melancholically and calm "Even If".

The last two songs form "The Sad Fairytale" and leave you in a depressive and profound tranquility where harmony and melancholy unite and drown you into a completely grey and rainy universe of wind and wuthering of the emotions.

The music is over and minutes after the last sound has gone, you are still there thinking and dreaming about what you have heard. You seem frozen and emotionless and realize that this album is a depressive drug. You won't live the intense emotions another time, but you can't fight your desire and press play again.

This album touches me very much, it is so rich of emotions and atmosphere and gets never boring. It is a truly amazing experience that everyone should experience by himself or herself to understand what I am trying to talk about. Lay down on a couch in a dark room, close your eyes and let your spirit and soul travel on the waves of those amazing sounds for just a little bit more than forty minutes of your life. You won't regret it. I can't even create enough words to describe the aura of this masterpiece and one of my favourite albums.

It is such a shame that this band has broken up, I wish they would come back. Nevertheless, but their amazing album and support them! Make yourself a present and enjoy!

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