Sculptured


The Spear Of The Lily Is Aureoled

Sculptured - The Spear Of The Lily Is Aureoled ©1998 The End Records
1. Together With The Seasons
2. Almond Beauty
3. Lit By The Light Of Morning
4. Fashioned By Blood & Tears
5. Fulfillment In Tragedy For Cello & Flute
6. Her Silence
7. Our Illuminated Tomb

Ambitious music. Certainly that will scare off the weak hearted among you. It can be a rather daunting prospect when fused into the metal genre. Sculptured is the vision and brainchild of Don Anderson, who is responsible for the lion's share of playing (with help from John Schlegel on drums and the clean vocals of Brian Yager). The concept behind this album is to take a full look at love, including its cold and painful side, a natural stance for a death-metal influenced band to take. Anderson is indeed a formidable composer of music and tosses quite an array of ideas at the listener. Oftentimes, I felt the heavier songs with the hoarse throat of Anderson were very well entrenched in the Opeth field, but the many left field turns into lighter or more classically arranged segments kept me glancing all about to see what path we were going down. They also sample in recorded conversations in the background (such as the closer "Our Illuminated Tomb") which enhance some of the mood they attempt to convey. I was most impressed with the less metal-oriented parts of the music. However, the attempt at atonal music ("Fulfillment in tragedy for cello & flute") would be best left for my long-past humanities music appreciation class in college. It was quite the sore spot in the midst of the album. Overall, this is something that takes a little bit of time to consume. In the future, I'd like to see Anderson concentrate just a touch more on composing more devastating, sweeping pieces of music rather than paint too broad of a picture. Don't get me wrong though; Sculptured is very talented. They just need hone in on their skill a bit.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/1998

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Apollo Ends

Sculptured - Apollo Ends ©2000 The End Records
1. Washing My Hands Of It
2. Above The 60th Parallel
3. Snow Covers All
4. Between Goldberg
5. Apollo Destroys, Apollo Creates
6. Song To Fall On Deaf Ears
7. Summary

What an utter waste of time. From the blatantly shoddy packaging to the veritable lack of good music, Apollo Ends is probably the real reason the Greek gods fell. If you skip from nearly any juncture in the first track to the beginning of the second and then skip to the third after a few moments, you will hear precisely the problem with this record: the songs have no variance whatsoever. Each songs sounds almost exactly like all the other songs and unfortunately, the original song is not very good to begin with. The music is supposedly adventurous but frankly this is as thrilling as a whitewater rafting trip in a puddle in the street. The guitars wind and weave in strikingly stagnant patterns that, as I griped before, go nowhere. One of the biggest problems in much rock music is that bands will fire all their ammunition on the first song and everything afterwards repeats the same ideas and Sculptured makes no attempt whatsoever to differentiate between the songs. Check that. "Apollo Destroys, Apollo Creates" is a very unnecessary noisescape that demonstrates precisely why they invented the skip button on CD players. But the rest of the songs are nearly identical in structure and approach. Between the loping, plodding rhythms, the wandering guitars and the Ozzy inflicted clean vocals, Apollo Ends simply is one of the most dreadful things I've heard in awhile. In a nutshell, this album is boring, pointless and really a very futile followup to The Spear of the Lily is Aureoled.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2000

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