Picture of Nicodemus

The Supernatural Omnibus

Nicodemus - The Supernatural Omnibus ©2003 Dark Symphonies
1. Something In The Walls
2. Nightfall Bares My Burden
3. Afterglow
4. Harlot
5. Of Pride & Necessity
6. The Lazarus Syndrome
7. Within The Glows Of Embers
8. Deepening
9. Shards Of A Bitter Night Wept
10. Benedetto Sia

I'm not sure what to make of a band who perhaps named themselves after a mutated mousie. There could very well be other sources for their name, but the M-O-U-S-E theory works for me. They certainly are one mousy band with a little squeak for a sound rather than a roar of a fierce, tough tiger. Despite having a United States mailing address, their sound is considerably more European, dwelling within that unfortunate Theatre of Tragedy symphonic metal that more often than not fails to light up the house.

First and foremost, the production on The Supernatural Omnibus, the band's second release, is dreadful. The band utilizes a wide array of instruments, offering guitars mixed with plenty of keyboards and orchestration. However, the production clutters them all together, leaving them to half-heartedly clash amongst themselves in one meek corner of the room. Everything sounds squashed and flattened, losing a chunk of the dynamic feel a band such as this truly needs.

But we all know that it's the songwriting that matters, right? Right! Sadly, Nicodemus has served up a portion of leftover "beauty and the beast" metal that simply never gets going. Certainly the band strives for grandiose song arrangements but do not quite reach this lofty goal. You get all sorts of the elements of doom-death-goth-sympho-nympho dark metal: light female singing, gothy male vocals, some growling, some grumping, lush keyboards, uber-thick guitar riffs (well, they'd be thicker if the production was better), etc. Those who have spent a little time around the Napalm Records' roster may be already on board with the festivities. There are a lot of bands who try out this style and very few actually finish the day as interesting. For example, The Sins of Thy Beloved at least have some nifty violin playing. The rest of the bands have breasts on the cover. Nicodemus has neither. The songs are lengthy and drag on and on. Even those who really like the genre may have troubles sitting through the course of The Supernatural Omnibus.

As eager as they may be, Nicodemus simply has a ways to go before they'll really be illuminaries of a cluttered scene. The musical talent is there but the ambition is outreaching the songwriting abilities of the band. It's too easy to get caught up in simply offering sounds that many other bands have also created, but much harder to sketch out something a little more edgy and original. Hopefully Nicodemus will stretch out their creativity more on the next effort.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/2003

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