Gardenian "Two Feet Stand" CDPosted on Friday, June 27th, 2008 @ 5:51am » permalink
Melodic Swedish death metal may have been pretty played out for some time now, but back in the mid- to late-90's there were some really incredible bands out there, and I still feel like Gardenian kind of got the shaft, especially compared to many of the other bands associated with the Gothenburg scene and all that jazz. Maybe it was partly due to the fact that they were fairly young and didn't get together until 1996, I don't know, but their first two albums still hold up extremely well today, and their 1997 debut, "Two Feet Stand" (Listenable Records), seems to have become a little rarer than I would've expected. Sure, their style was quite similar to the likes of In Flames and such acts, what with plenty of those zippy dual guitar harmonies and slick acoustic passages, but I always felt like their songwriting had a hell of a lot more character to it than a lot of the bands that sort of came up right in the middle of the whole "melodic Swedish death metal boom". There was a little more of a chunky heaviness to some of their rhythms, the melodies were a bit more emphatic and intense than those of many of their contemporaries, the songs themselves tended to be very catchy and memorable without any of form of the cheesy "power metal pep" that sometimes follows certain characteristics of hooky songwriting (and in fact they often managed to succeed in such areas even when their compositions became rather dark), etc. I randomly picked this disc up in a used bin a year or two after it hit the streets, and I've been a fan ever since. If you've never heard 'em, I'm sure you have a ballpark idea of what to expect, but I highly recommend both "Two Feet Stand" and "Soulburner" (the latter of which is much easier to find, and even better, I just happened to feel like writing about this album for whatever reason), so… if you like what you hear below, definitely dig a little further.
To my surprise, I can't really find this disc for purchase out there. There's a whopping one copy on eBay right now, and Amazon has a few for ridiculous "import" prices that no one will ever pay, but… other than that? I'm not really seeing it. Very strange, and rather unfortunate, too. This really is a great record.