NOTRE DAME - COMING SOON TO A THEATRE NEAR YOU, THE 2ND - OSMOSE
Snowy Shaw's Notre Dame is a band with a slightly different bend than the norm. The quartet takes metal and infuses a huge dose of horror movie (Vlad, Dracula, etc.) effects and lyricism to obtain a result best suited to a horror soundtrack than a metal album. Of course, that is exactly what the band had in mind with its cover and concept. Coming Soon is actually an EP supplemented with six older tracks for a total of 11 songs. The sound is fair and the band certainly works hard to give it all the right kind of aura. Play tip: the nicely-narrated Vlad The Impaler.
NOTRE DAME - DEMI MONDE BIZARROS - OSMOSE
Saying the new Notre Dame album is a bad release would not be appropriate. It would not be appropriate because the album is not bad, although there are several things wrong with Snowy Shaw And The Three Stooges' Demi Monde Bizarros - Songs About Sex, Satan And Sado-Masochism. More specifics on this is coming, but the drumming of band leader Snowy Shaw has to be mentioned first. He is either one hell of a versatile drummer or we are all being somehow hoodwinked. Comparing the drumming on this album with Snowy's work on either of the Dream Evil albums is bound to make anyone remark the different styles. Can he really be that versatile?
Back to the point started above, Demi Monde Bizarros has many good songs, parts and interludes. Most songs are hard, heavy and even irrepressible. Having said that, the styles vary from goth to industrial to doom metal and heavy metal. The first half of the album primarily features metal, but by the fifth song The Stripper the female vocals kick in and from there on come the Rammstein-ish composition, the freaky samples, ghoulish melodies and rampant instrumentals. There is even (another) cover version, this time of the song These Boots Are Made For Walking which kicks off the album's live portion. Did someone say scatterbrain?
Yet another point would be the CD's sound. This is not the world's best-produced album. Much could be done to improve the band's sound, tone and even mix. One cannot be sure whether it is all deliberate and part of the grand scheme of things with Notre Dame. In contrast, it is certain that one has to be open-minded, tolerant and indulgent to really dig this album. Osmose Production has billed this CD as the band's last. Whether that is still true or not remains to be seen. After all, this album was preannounced as entitled Creepshow Freakshow Peepshow. - Ali "The Metallian"