To/Die/For - Samsara
Back in 2006… To/Die/For released their best album (and one of the most beautiful albums of that year)… and while they were about to make the next big step and take on the world they just disappeared from the scene! Their reputation was fast growing with each new album and they were one of the pioneering gothic rock/metal bands but suddenly that changed and they stayed out of the game. I remember writing a great review for “Wounds Wide Open” back that day… but since then I never heard of them again… till now.
The band is back after 5 years of absence… the line-up has changed once more and the original guitarist of To/Die/For, Juppe Sutela is back. The new members are Eza Viren on bass and Matti Huopainen on drums (Santtu Lonka played the drums on the album but he left the band right after)… while the keyboardist Juska Salminen, that has played in “IV”, is back for a second time. Antza Talala (guitar) is still with the band and Jape, with the characteristic raspy “deep” voice is, of course, behind the mic.
Independently released, this is the sixth album of the band… that’s like a connecting link between the past and the present. “Samsara” shows the evolution of To/Die/For and the incidents the band faced which inspired them all over the years. Melancholy, depression, anger, pitiness, grief, sadness… are the prevalent feelings you get while listening to this album. They’re delivering some downhearted, disconsolate gothic rock/metal songs such as: “Kissing the Flames” (the up-tempo goth-rocker of the album), “Damn Rapture” (slow-tempo heavy doomed tune), “Cry For Love” (TDF’s traditional cover – very good one), “Death Comes in March” (very somber acoustic tune – recorded live!), “Folie A Deux” (one of the best songs of the band and of the year… a 7 minute imposing song with a choir use at times… that makes it very gloomy – outstanding!), “Hail of Bullets” (a wonderful gothic metal song with heavy guitars, piano and very beautiful keys – Jape’s performance is fantastic once again), “Love’s A Sickness” (a delightful mid-tempo heavy dark song), “Raving Hearts” (hard goth rocker), “Oblivion:Vision” (very obscure - the strangest song the band has delivered to date – recorded live as well!) and “Someday, Somewhere, Somehow” (dark yet heavy and sad)… that leave you no chance to escape their gloomy cold atmosphere. Songs written from the heart… (not to be played on mainstream radiowaves)… from the deepest dim feelings that become inspiration… when catharsis… brings salvation…
I bet that the most gothic rock/metal fans have missed To/Die/For – the band’s devoted fans surely did. Thankfully, they are back with a strong dark new album… that’s put them back in the game once again. “Samsara” is a deep, esoteric and melancholic album that will offer you more than meets the eye… if you’re not afraid to dive into its icy shadowy dominion. Support the band and get this album if you are new into gothic rock/metal music… as for the old ones… they surely know that To/Die/For has always delivered beautifully gloomy yet melodic and heavy music…