Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
Suspiria Is One of Those Albums That Should Be Given a Chance
There are albums in the genre of heavy metal that are forgotten, put away and never really heard from again. I feel that this is the case with the album called Suspiria by Austrian gothic metal band Darkwell. This writer has chosen to give a detailed, thoughtful review of this album because of his love for female-fronted metal bands. I know that Austria may not be a sort of hotbed for heavy metal music but there are also bands such as Edenbridge and Dreams of Sanity which are excellent bands to listen to as well.
Suspiria Song List
- "Pictures of Strive"
- "Ladies’ Choice"
- "Path to Salvation (Intro)"
- "Two Souls Creature (The Beginning)"
- "Two Souls Creature (The Salvation)"
- "Two Souls Creature (The Rejuvenation)"
- "Realm of Darkness"
What Makes "Suspiria" Such an Interesting Album?
In the song "Ladies’ Choice," there is a noticeable kind of influence from the band The 3rd and the Mortal because you can hear it in the slow guitar picking. Alexandra Pittracher’s voice is operatic and soothing, much like that of Kari Rueslatten which is another added plus! The song is about a woman that is brought back to life after being killed by what seems to be vampires and other evil spirits.
"Path to Salvation" is just a short instrumental that has piano playing in it and has that atmospheric kind of feel which is also present in bands such as Ancient Ceremony.
Songs 5 through 7 are a three part section with the same title but the subtitle is different. "Two Souls Creature (The Beginning)" is about someone that sees the only way out of their predicament is death so that the can escape what they see as guilt that they cannot get rid of. The lyrical themes in the album give you an idea that this will be a doom metal kind of album. "Two Souls Creature (The Salvation)" is about someone that finally feels liberated because their painful life is over. Life on Earth has its pain and pleasure moments and for some people there is more pain than pleasure. The album has a total dark feeling to it because of the orchestration as well.
"Pictures of Strive" and "Blackheart" Really Strengthen the Album
However, even though Suspiria has a dark feel to it, it does not have evil lyrics such as those you will find in Dimmu Borgir’s music. Also, Darkwell’s music is not as gloomy as Tristania’s music so it should not induce tears. "Suspiria" (the title track) has some old English lyrics in it similar to Theatre of Tragedy.
However, the real highlights of this album are the first two songs, "Pictures of Strive" and "Blackheart." "Pictures of Strive" has a dramatic start because there is a thundering kind of orchestration. "Blackheart" is a song about someone that was dedicated to saving their soul by communicating with various spirits.
"Pictures of Strive"
Final Thoughts on the Album Suspiria: It is Definitely Worth It!
"Armageddon" is an excellent way to end an otherwise good album. The song is about the battle between the forces of good and evil. There seems to be no concept of time anymore as people’s destinies have already been decided. Alexandra Pittracher does her best vocal job in this song as you can hear the chanting style and power of her voice. As both the armies of good and evil do battle, the demons are forever banished. However, it seems that some of the good forces disappear as well. Suspiria overall is a good doom metal kind of album mixed in with gothic metal influences and the vocals are very strong. The final score for this album would be about 80 out of 100. The strongest songs in the album are the mentioned first two along with "Armageddon."
© 2017 Ara Vahanian