Independent Release

Review by Erwin Van Dijk

Ex Libris is Latin for bookplate and means “From the book of…” Usually it is a decorative label to identify the owner of the book. Ex Libris is also aband from Boxtel, a city in the south of the Netherlands. The band has been active since 2004 and “Amygdala” is their first full length album. The album follows the demo “Drawn” and shares two songs with “Amygdala”, “Breathe With Me” and “Dawn Of Sugars”I’ve seen this band one time in 2008, as opener for A New Dawn at the Baroeg in the city of Rotterdam. For everyone who have never been before in the Baroeg: this is one of the most difficult places for a gig. And being honest, I was not really impressed by the band’s performance that day. “Amygdala” turns out to be a lot better. Although it is quite difficult to come with something new in the genre Ex Libris operates (mainly progressive and symphonic metal Ex Libris does it by adding more metal into the mix). Think of bands like Trail Of Tears and After Forever during their years.  Although the album clocks almost 60 minutes it feels much shorter due to the varity of between the songs and that is a good thing. Of course there are some little similarities with songs from other bands but that’s inherent with the genre. Intended or not but the seventh track on the album starts with what sounds like a copy from the Tainted Love song done by Atrocity.  This brings me to something I do not really understand and if not intented very sloppy: the back cover where is written the tracklist. I wonder if this is intended or just a mistake? The first three songs on the album are uptempo. With the fourth song starts the more epic part on “Amygdala”. The fourth song itself is the mandatory ballad on the album and in my opinion the weakest link and Dianne van Giersbergen‘s (I’ve no idea if she is related to Anneke van Giersbergen) voice does not really fit with the song in my opinion. The fifth song shows another similarity with a band from the Netherlands: A New Dawn, with multiple voices and a voice over. Since a lot of Gothic oriented bands no longer exist or have turned to the Gothic or Melacholic Rock direction (Autumn, Agua de Annique, Dejafuse) it is interesting to hear some old school Gothic again.


Rating – 78/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Dawn of Sugars
  2. Love is Thy Sin
  3. Breathe with Me
  4. Sail…
  5. … Out to Farewell
  6. Death Becomes Us All
  7. Destined
  8. The Day Our Paths End

 

Line Up

  • Dianne van Giersbergen – Vocals
  • Paul van den Broek – Guitars
  • Eva Albers – Guitar
  • Koen Stam – Keyboards
  • Peter den Bakker – Bass 
  • Joost van de Pas – Drums  
  • Spencer Prewett – Drums (Session Musician) 

 

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