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Coronatus - 'Raben Im Herz' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     March 13, 2016    
 
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Best digested as a complete work in its own right rather than in fragmented form.

A Gothic/Symphonic Metal act from Stuttgart in Germany, whilst Coronatus as an idea dates back to the fading embers of the 20th Century, as an actual "proper" band rather than a project, they didn't solidify until 2003, and even then it would be another four years until their debut album 'Lux Noctis' first hit the streets. Since then, they've proven themselves to be one of the most productive bands in the business with 'Raben Im Herz' being their seventh long player in eight years...a prodigious work rate by anyone's standards I'm sure you'll agree.

Perhaps one of the closest bands in spirit you'll hear these days to the original (as in pre 'Century Child') incarnation of Nightwish, their brand of Operatic/ Symphonic/Gothic Metal also incorporates something of a Folk Metal aesthetic as well as the melodramatic bombast of the post HammerFall Power Metal generation. Coming less than a year after their last album 'Cantus Lucidus', '...Herz' (which broadly translates as 'Raven's In My Hart', or perhaps just 'Ravenheart' if you don't take it too literally), sees them continue their quest to become even more ostentatious and overblown than before.

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Bold arrangements characterised by layers of orchestration, big choral harmonies and quirky Folk instrumentation sit astride galloping riffs as the band take you on a Medievally flavoured adventure through a landscape you've probably never witnessed before. Our guides (note the plural) on this particularly enigmatic journey are chanteuse's Carmen R. Lorch and Anny Maleyes who provide contrasting Soprano and Rock voices – a quirky little character trait fairly unique to Coronatus which you'll either find endearing or frustrating (the former I trust once you get used to them).

As much Wagner as they are Metal, looking at individual tracks in isolation doesn't really tell the story properly as, like all their previous releases, '...Herz' is best digested as a complete work in its own right rather than in fragmented form – that said, the likes of 'Hoffnung stirbt Niemals',
'Seelenfeuer' (yes, they don't see language as a barrier) and beguiling opener 'Lady Of The Wall' are fairly engaging/bonkers (delete as appropriate) pieces.

Quirky for sure and still quite possibly the Symphonic equivalent of Marmite, 'Raben Im Herz' is nonetheless another stoic performance from the band.

Dave Cockett

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