I have no idea which end is up after listening to Far Away From Conformity. This album has more twists and turns than the Tour de France. The title is very accurate, since the band conforms to no genres, sticks to no specific sound, ignores any and all trends in the current metal scene, and sounds great doing it. Cadaveria switches tempos, genres, moods, and vocal styles multiple times -within each song- and yet manages to avoid becoming a train wreck of unlistenability. I have no idea how. I am baffled. This is great stuff.
Cadaveria covers so many styles on this album it's almost impossible to list them in any sensical way. Sometimes it sounds like you're listening to a Mercyful Fate song with female deathmetal vocals. Other times, you'd think you were hearing 80's chick-rock ala Joan Jett but with a serious heavy metal band backing her. Then all of a sudden - WHAM - it's black metal! Then ZOOM! It's turned another corner and metamorphosed into an alltogether unforseen meshing of all that stuff. The glue holding it together is the crunching pulse of Frank Booth's dominant, driving rhythm guitar riffs. No matter how byzantine the song structures become, he keeps a firm grip on things and prevents the music from spiraling off into a distant galaxy.
The real star of the show, however, is she for whom the band is named: lead singer Cadaveria. Astoundingly, she is just as chameleonic as the music. Her remarkably versatile voice manifests in at least five distinct tones over the course of the album. Most frequently, she wails out a mid-range, uncommonly smooth blackmetal rasp. She also has a very cutting and aggressive deathmetal bark. Oh, and there's her clean singing, which is surprisingly pretty for someone who treats her vocal cords so roughly. Then there's that weird creepy whisper and a sort of hybrid clean/angry yell... I may have missed a permutation or two along the way. They all sound good, all carry substantial emotional impact, and all fit the mood perfectly when she employs them.
If a standout vocal performance and wild songwriting that has no regard for convention doesn't excite you, you're hopeless. Far Away From Conformity is full of raw creative energy and perplexing genre crossovers that will daze you with rapid fire tonal shifts. The sole black mark against the album is spotty production that is overly hot, adding a fuzzy distortion to the mix particularly when the guitar lines are exposed. If you can get past that, and I'm -way- past it, things are darn near perfect. Cadaveria demonstrates just how lame it is to stick to formulaic renditions of specific genres. In doing exactly the opposite, they have created an instant classic - an album that breaks all the rules but never gets caught.
Cadaveria Official Site:
The End Records (US):