CORONATUS — Recreatio Carminis (review)

CORONATUS — Recreatio Carminis album cover Album · 2013 · Symphonic Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
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Recreatio Carminis (2013) is the fifth full-length album by German gothic metal act Coronatus. Something in that sentence isn't true as of this album; while Coronatus may have played gothic metal (at least primarily) up until this point, as happens with many bands over time, Recreatio Carminis is the album in which they changed direction. That's not the only change to come with the album though, Recreatio Carminis is a true change of pace for the band not only musically, but also vocally. As of Recreatio Carminis original vocalist Carmen R. Lorch is back in the band, and not because one of the other singers decided to leave. Rather they now boast a three strong vocal line-up. This is unusual enough in bands (not counting the rock/metal opera projects of the world), let alone three female singer's sharing the lead.

For their last album Terra Incognita (2011) Coronatus had introduced a complete change in their vocalist department. Carmen had left the band, as had incumbent rock vocalist Lisa Lasch. Although another vocalist originally replaced Carmen, the group eventually settled on Ada Flechtner along with Mareike Makosch to replace Lasch. Lasch had actually been Flechtner's replacement as the rock vocalist of the group, having performed in that role on Porta Obscura (2008). Neither singer had Carmen's vocal power though but despite that the band made up for it by producing quite the varied gothic metal album with two singer's who were excellent in their own ways. With Carmen now back in the band after one album away it's distinctly clear that she is the most powerful of the three but fortunately the other two ladies are given plenty of vocal time so it's not as if Carmen is upstaging them.

Musically Recreatio Carminis is now less gothic metal and more symphonic metal, although it's not as overpowering on the symphonic element as some other band's can be. Coronatus have always had symphonic elements present on their albums but this is the first time the genre hasn't been playing second fiddle to the gothic metal. Like always Coronatus keep a strong focus on their riffs, which this time around quite often move into fast paced power metal territory,so much so that power metal becomes one of the defining features of the album alongside symphonic metal. I like this addition to their already varied sound. The band still make use of some folk elements though, with the songs The Monk and So Tanzt! being quite heavily folk influenced. Overall Recreatio Carminis is another varied album from the band and it's impressive that they managed to pull this off in such a way that it didn't feel like Terra Incognita Part II. Their lyrics this time mostly stick to their native German although there are some English language tracks like Towards Horizon and The Monk.

Compositionally I do think prior album Terra Incognita was a stronger effort but there are more than enough new ideas in the Coronatus sound here that make Recreatio Carminis quite the interesting album from them. An early highlight is In Meinem Reich while the power metal heavy Winterrosen also stands out as a really powerful track with its vocal harmony, fast riffs, and symphonic presence. Overall though the revamped sound doesn't live up to its full potential, but it's a solid release from a band apparently prepared to step out of their comfort zone and explore new horizons and that alone makes their future a lot more interesting. If they could have done something that sounded like this but with the consistency of Terra Incognita we might have been discussing their best album to date here. As it is a great album tier rating is deserved; it's a slight step down, but that step may well be a stepping stone on the way to greater things.

82/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/coronatus-recreatio-carminis-t3255.html)
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