Vision Bleak Carpathia: A Dramatic Poem

With Therion-esque neo-classical metal tinged in goth and a hint of folk, the Vision Bleak’s second album tells a story that mixes modern business and Old World legend. The musical vibe fluctuates with the story — the deep-voiced narrative of "Sister Najade” gives the song a distinctly goth rock sound, for example, while the next track, "The Curse of Arabia,” unsurprisingly infuses its metal with Eastern-flavoured melodies and chord progressions. Carpathia: A Dramatic Poem has its shining moments (the heaviest and darkest bits tend to work best) but its musical shifts sometimes throw the record off balance, and it verges on the derivative in places, aging faster than a healthy record should. (Prophecy)