Caffeine Prelude to a Sentimental Journey

Arabian goth metal and poetry readings, early Tea Party mixed with Dead Can Dance, death metal and spooky spoken word, it may sound somewhat improbable but you can hear all these elements on Prelude to a Sentimental Journey. The newest album by Poland's Cemetery of Scream explores Eastern melodies and horror story atmosphere in three parts. The first four-song section, "Time Is Shadow," opens with a poem of the same name by James Elroy Flecker and deals with unsurprisingly dark subject matter. At the beginning of "Part II" the band quotes Paracelsus and then continues with four songs addressing concepts of life and time. The first of these, "Cult," is one of the most intriguing tracks on the record, with its ghostly keyboards and subtle groove. Prelude... closes with a section called "Towards to the Final Consciousness," which includes the memorable song "Bridge to a Desert." The album's spoken passages and overall melodrama seems a little over-the-top, but at the same time everything flows into one artistic whole that, with its strangeness, begs for a closer listen. I'm still not sure whether this CD is brilliant, ridiculous, or somewhere in between, but it's certainly unusual. (Hammer)