Spinefarm Records
Release date: March 16, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Finnish To/Die/For serves up a commercially potent album with their fourth release IV. Being their first album with the new lineup on successful Spinefarm Records (which makes them label mates with Nightwish), they seem to have found a formula, which might bless them, too, with success.

Digging into IV, you’ll find 10 songs with a majority in the radio-friendly 4 minute size. The genre is undeniably of Goth Metal origin, but with a more commercial finish than what’s commonly expected. From the smooth production, via the catchy choruses to the optimistic, even almost happy “I will be with you again” mantra in “New Year’s Day” (oh yes, it’s a cover from the U2 War album), the album simply reeks of the desire for commercial success. Further speaking to this fact, many of the songs have a strong focus on the chorus, often at the expense of the verse.

Opening the album is “Autumn Forever,” and with this song they set the standard and lay out the grand design for the entire album. It is a sad, oh so sad song, bound to sneak into your head and stay there. Needless to say, “Autumn Forever” is loaded with commercial potential.

The magnitude of the opening track casts a shadow on the following two songs, “This World Is Made For Me” and “Lies (For Fools),” even if the latter has a really neat strings arrangement (cello + Goth = true!). Actually, all the remaining songs suffer some of the same fate, with the last two tracks, “Endlessly” and “Last Breath” being vague exceptions. This, thanks to the darker and heavier parts of “Endlessly,” and the mellow outfit of “Last Breath”.

Meanwhile, the color of commerce is smeared all over “Chaotic Me,” which is the least convincing composition on board. “Little Death” sounds like a left over song from Nightwish, however, barely saved by a slightly odd intermezzo breaking up the super smooth surface. The seventh track, “No Turning Back,” opens with a darker and more promising sound, which the verse is not able to justify, and the chorus takes it back to the ambitions of “Autumn Forever.” In spite of the rare colors of the female backing vocals, and the changing images of “No Turning Back,” it ends up being static and not at all interesting. Same goes for “Fragmented,” even if the guitar intermezzo picks up a much more interesting path, however, this never gets a chance to evolve and the song is back on the safe road to its abrupt ending at the 4:00 mark.

The strength in To/Die/For and IV lies in Jape Peratalo’s characteristic and fairly unique voice, even if he claims to hate his own voice. Thanks to him, there is a signature other than purely the praise of Mammon on the album. Also, the album has potential as a door opener to Goth Metal, hoping the genre will gain a wider audience without losing its credibility. One has to give them credit for producing some mighty melodic and easily digestible choruses. Other than this, IV has far apart and few highlights during its 40+ minutes duration. Some friendly advice: To/Die/For ought to liberate themselves from the formula of this album in order to move forward on an artistic level.


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

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