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ARKHETH - review
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THE GARDNERZ
THE GARDNERZ
It All Fades
(Abyss Records)
35:51min

The very first thing that grabbed my attention regarding this Swedish Doom / Death Metal outfit called THE GARDNERZ, was a cover of DARKTHRONE's 'Transilvanian Hunger', which is one of the most convincingly written Black Metal songs in my unholy history books of extreme Metal ever. Without having all that needed patience in me, I simply HAD to check it out as my first thing. And... uh, it doesn't sound much like the original grim, pure evilness and darkness-oozing DARKTHRONE song at all, which in this case doesn't mean either THE GARDNERZ should have left that classic Black Metal anthem completely untouched. Actually I am more than happy to say glad they did cover it - and made their own version out of it. THE GARDNERZ gave a twist of their very own to this DARKTHRONE classic, giving the song a beautiful Folk-ish touch, and letting the female vocalist Paulina Strihavka to perform it with her magnificent and fragile voice, supported by acoustic guitars only. Quite a chilling performance from THE GARDNERZ, if you ask me respectively. As for the rest of the content on this relatively lengthy 6-track EP (nearly 36 minutes of music), the Swedes' deathly Doom is throughout pretty mesmerizing altogether, the guys using cleverly yet wisely enough a substantial amount of tempo changes within their songs - like avoiding the deepest traps to sound like your typical, mediocre Death / Doom Metal act, plus taking advantage of some a bit more progressive parts here and there, to make the songs sound richer and just a bit more challenging structure-wise. Vocalist Niclas Ankarbranth is also very capable of convincing all of us with his grunt-ish Death growls, at times reminding of Jeff Hayden (TIMEGHOUL) whose voice I have always admired. I also overall liked the idea of using Paulina's operatic vocal skills in the title track of the EP, 'It All Fades', providing some lightness for the ending of the song - as well as bringing in a well-fitting contrast to the song, next to Niclas' very much opposite, dead limb-heavy and beastly vocal performance. In conclusion out of all this, here's a very enjoyable EP from THE GARDNERZ all in all that should make all of us waiting for the band's 2nd album, which they undoubtedly even have in the works while you are reading this... To check out some recent updates about THE GARDNERZ, please find your way to the following url: www.facebook.com/thegardnerz, label website: www.officialabyssrecords.com

Luxi Lahtinen

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