Siebenburgen Darker Designs & Images

Dark folklore on a solid metal platter, Siebenbürgen’s latest effort, Darker Designs & Images, is truly a hybrid beast. Feminine serenades weave their way into this dense metallic forest of classic, death and black riffs after the first few songs, joining the harsher growls that open the album and lending the songs a slightly medieval air. Several personnel changes have not produced an equally substantial shake up in the band’s sound, perhaps because Siebenbürgen’s founding core remains intact, but things do seem slightly more subdued. Though the basic impetus is the same, and while Darker Designs & Images succeeds in forging myth into both mood and atmosphere, the underlying structure often falls short, sagging under the ornamental weight. (Napalm)