Coronatus - Fabula Magna
Massacre Records
Gothic Metal with Folk elements
12 songs (50:12)
Release year: 2009
Coronatus, Massacre Records
Reviewed by Khelek

I had never heard of Coronatus before, but it had been awhile since I had heard any gothic metal and they sounded like a solid band from what I read about them. The German sextet has been around since 2002, releasing their first album just a couple years ago in 2007. This is their third album and sounds like an attempt to bring some folk elements into their sound, which works quite well. This turned out to be a pleasant surprise as the band clearly wants to give you more than just another bland gothic metal album.

The intro track, simply entitled Preface, is modern sounding keyboards and some spoken German with symphonic elements in the background, which gets me somewhat interested to hear what will come next. The first track, Geisterkirche, opens with the usual simple yet big guitar riffs heard in this style, then the operatic vocals of Carmen Lorch. This is quite a heavy, pounding track that has good energy and gives you some idea of what this band is about. The next track, Tantalos, seems to have a folk\Celtic vibe to it, and reminds me somewhat of Eluveitie's catchier songs. The dual female vocals work well here accompanied by a variety of instruments, but the electric guitars are still the most prevalent. Wolfstanz begins with some decent growled vocals and some very heavy guitars. A contrast between the female and growled male vocals works quite well in this song, though the melody of the song sometimes sounds too familiar, like something I've heard in many gothic metal albums before. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but the band just needs to be careful about sounding too much like their influences. Flying By (Alone) starts out with a soft, balladesque feeling, but soon picks up as the electric guitars come in with some folk instruments as well. This is a catchy song that really drives the album forward, the only complaint I have is that the keyboards can get a little loud sometimes, but other than that a great, memorable track. Der Letze Tanz is more of a rousing folk anthem than a gothic metal song with the violin and quick, catchy guitar riffs. Definitely one of the most exciting and energetic song on the album in my opinion. Est Carmen also has some of these folk elements, though it is a somewhat heavier, more metal-oriented track. Blind is another memorable track from the album, beginning with soft acoustic guitars and the serene vocals of Lisa Lasche, backed up very well by the operatic vocals of Lorch. This is a slower, more balladesque track that really creates a nice atmosphere, but still keeps it heavy with simple yet memorable guitar riffs.

Coronatus seems to be a band that wants to try new things and not just give you the same gothic metal album that you've heard before, which I find quite admirable. I found the folk elements particularly appealing even though I have heard other bands do it better. The dual female vocals also work very well at times, though in my opinion the operatic ones can sound out of place at times, perhaps because they do not blend well with the folk elements. Overall I enjoyed this blend of gothic and folk metal, though I cannot see myself listening to this entire album very often because the fact remains that there are other bands that pull this sound off better. I will certainly keep listening to the handful of memorable tracks however. I think this band certainly has a lot of talent and if they work hard at writing some more songs that really stand out, they could go far.

Killing Songs :
Flying By (Alone), Der Letze Tanz, Blind
Khelek quoted 77 / 100
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