Engel Threnody

What exactly is "modern metal"? While the media release that accompanied the Swedish band's second full-length notes Lamb of God and Linkin Park as influences, comparisons to Evanescence sound more accurate, at least on tracks like "Sense the Fire," which is fantastic. New singer Mangan Klavborn stands out as a strong, melodic vocalist, and the track, filled with lush melodies and symphonic fervour, is more Top-40 friendly than aggro. To be fair, Threnody is varied, and their metal influences do come to mind with "Six Feet Deep," a more thrash-oriented track that again, shows off the band's secret weapon, as Klayborn barks and sneers his way through the track. It's rare to listen to an album that displays not only a variance in musical styles, but also has cohesiveness. So, if "modern metal" means that Engel have successfully taken myriad musical influences and can still produce an album that is clearly conveying their aesthetic, than "modern" it is. (Season of Mist)