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""Specters On Parade" has all the characteristics of a Michael Bay blockbuster: not revolutionary but terribly effective and well done."
CALGEPO - 09.08.2019 -
We know Germany's love for hard rock, metal whether melodic or industrial, it doesn't matter. Rammstein, Scorpion, Vanden Plas, the Wacken Festival are the showcase of a music that has always known how to meet its audience in Germany and shine beyond its borders. As part of this furrow dug for years, M.I.GOD delivers its new offering personified by this "Specters On Parade". If it does not benefit from the same aura as its elders, the band still has quite a few years of existence behind it since it was formed in 2001 and has since undergone some rigorous line-up changes, the most significant of which is the arrival of a second guitarist in 2012.

From the top of its 21 tracks in a single disc and its disturbing title, "Specters On Parade" has everything to offer a metal with a progressive and melodic tendency. Bingo! That's exactly the case. On the form, this album is structured as such with short titles and instrumental tracks that introduce more consistent tracks and two interludes ('Cluster' and'Sonata In Tenebris'). With names such as "Atelier Macabre", "Solitary Ghost"... the band creates a very dark, disturbing and horrific atmosphere, created in particular by multiple samples that dot the whole.

"Specters On Parade" is constituted as the soundtrack of a fantastic film with its alternating atmospheres. The first part is very oppressive from the outset with the introductory and atmospheric "Vertigo", this crowd and birds singing in the background that the listener will be able to perceive until everything becomes confused with rather unpleasant but deliberate effects, as if the band wanted to plunge us into immersion. The transition is very well done with 'Solitary Ghost' whose structure is reminiscent of Dream Theater ('Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence') and condensed. The riffs, if they are not revolutionary, are effective and participate in the syncopated rhythm supported by an interesting drum set and a bass a little too discreet. The horror comes little by little with the addition of more aggressive vocal lines with the use of growl ('We All Belong To The Dark') which will remain relatively discreet throughout the album. Max Chemnitz has a rather impressive vocal technique that goes from low to high notes easily in epic choruses, reminiscent of the best of Vanden Plas. 

If everything is very well done, we get lost in the story, with for example an "Embracing The Neon" not really useful to introduce "Titans Of The Void" with its irresistible chorus and even darker verses than the previous titles. As the album progresses, it reminds us in some ways of Shadow Gallery (if we remove the growl). Despite the two guitarists, solos are rare, the first one really appearing in this track. After this thundering departure, the band brings some welcome breaths and settles in a less oppressive "Atelier Macabre" (spoiler). This rather messy aspect is reinforced by "Specters On Parade" which in eight minutes leaves us in an almost lyrical heavy metal, especially with the vocals close to a Powerwolf.

After the first interlude ('Sonata In Tenebris'), M.I.GOD propose an almost pop atmosphere ('Tears Of Today','Chances') that aerates everything. Strangely, until the end of the album, the atmosphere becomes lighter, more luminous with a high-flying "The Threshold" with some breaks accentuating the progressive aspect.

Even if it lacks a certain coherence, M.I.GOD knows how to build the right melody. If the music is very technical, it does not appear to be predominant and is intended to serve the oppressive concept, dirty at times, which ultimately leads to light. A kind of soundtrack to a movie, "Specters On Parade" has all the characteristics of a Michael Bay blockbuster: not revolutionary but terribly effective and well done. An album to listen to with a bucket of popcorn. 

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01. Vertigo
02. The Solitary Ghost
03. Tongues Of Poison
04. We All Belong To The Dark
05. Embracing The Neon
06. Titans Of The Void
07. The Sleeping Cruelty
08. Atelier Macabre
09. Specters On Parade
10. Sonata In Tenebris (Interlude I)
11. Tears Of Today
12. What's Your Favorite Scourge
13. Chances
14. The Call
15. Weight Of A Million Souls
16. Cluster (Interlude II)
17. Bound To A Daydream
18. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
19. The Threshold
20. Terminus Life
21. I Feed You My Love


Dan Heß: Guitares
Dodo Schmitt: Claviers
Eric Wunderlich: Batterie
Max Chemnitz: Chant
Mick Steger: Basse
Uli Holzermer: Guitares

90's, Easy Listening / FM, Discordant, Movie music, Dark, Technical
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