The Phantom Tollbooth

The Light Prevails
Artist: Cruciferae
Label: Independent / Self-Released
Time: 20:06 / 3 tracks

The Light Prevails is an EP consisting of three songs of varying length, style, and quality. The production is clear with good separation of the different instruments and a nice heavy guitar tone. The music is a mixture of slow to mid-pace metal, nice guitar solos, and varying vocals, including about equal parts male gothic drone and death-style growl. Although the vocalist's Finnish accent is clearly apparent, it does not distract from the song's enjoyment.

The first song, "The Carpenter's Son", is a cohesive and quite enjoyable ten+ minute piece. It starts off with peaceful but somewhat melancholy music, joined by some heavily accented, gothic male vocals. Slowly the song gets heavier as we are introduced to the carpenter and his son, and a creature called man. As the song progresses, amid different musical moods, we are told how man greedily tries to take everything that belongs to the carpenter and his son, and how the carpenter chases man away across a bridge with an axe! The carpenter then cuts the ropes that hold up the bridge to his home and land. In time the now aged carpenter, regretting what he has done but lacking the strength to change it, asks his son to rebuild the bridge. The son agrees, but man still cannot find his way back. Compelled by his love for his father and man, the son goes out to help man find the way back, but finds hatred instead. Though he is killed by man, the father brings him back to life, and through his sacrifice man is able to find his way back to the carpenter's land. Though the story is a flawed parallel to the gospel, it is very enjoyable and enhances the song.

The second song, "Tormentor of Souls" is faster overall than the first song, and includes a slight black metal tinge to the vocals here and there. Overall it's a good song, but the chorus has some musically awkward moments. Lyrically, this song contains a more direct Christian message about God's available deliverance from Satan's ways.

The disc finishes off with a very nice instrumental, "The Light Prevails." In and of itself the song is good, but the addition of a violin in certain places brings the whole song up a notch or two.
I like what Cruciferae has done on most of this EP.  If they stick to it and develop what works best for them, I foresee their bright future.

Band Contact Information:
Tuomo Bowels (Drummer)
Marjatie 3 a 26
18200 Heinola, Finland
Phone: 040-5873189 >>

By Chris King  (11/13/98)