December Flower
When All Life Ends...

A common idiom states: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” something December Flower (taken from the In Flames song of the same name) has taken to heart with In Flames, Eucharist and Dark Tranquillity; at least their earlier forms from the mid-90s. This German quintet, made up of former members of Chronicles of Tyrants, have done their homework studying the greats of the originators of the Gothenburg sound.

“Invasion” opens up the album like most openings do – a fade-in of synthesized keys with a mid-tempo melodic riff – that segues into “The Apprentice” with a force that doesn’t let up until the melodic break. The rest of the songs feature similar intensities especially “Despise Your Life”, while won’t make you despise your own life, it will make you want to headbang, especially for the strong harmonized chorus that later leads into a tasty solo.

The structure of the songs are fairly predictable – strong melodic opening riff with the verse and chorus and usually a breakdown, which do not follow metalcore tropes – they are all enjoyable and fairly memorable. “As Darkness Reigns” in particular is memorable, though that could also be due to the fact that I almost thought my playlist skipped to Dismember‘s “On Frozen Fields.” December Flower does explore a bit of an epic side with “And Blood Has to be Shed” and closer “The Fountain” which continues the former track and recalls the opener somewhat, just slowed down.

December Flower is really hammering the idiom home and taking from bands like Dismember or older In Flames is certainly not a bad thing. If melodic death metal is your thing and you’re yearning to hear some classics but don’t want to completely retread the usual suspects, When All Life Ends… is not a bad place to start. It just may make you yearn for the progenitors of Swedish death metal.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Travis Bolek
December 5th, 2011


  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    a great first review Travis – welcome to the site!!

  2. Commented by: Staylow

    Good review, I may have to seek this out. I love me some melodeath done right.

  3. Commented by: Travis

    Thanks. :) Glad to be aboard!

  4. Commented by: Reignman35

    Good review brother… Welcome aboard…

  5. Commented by: stiffy

    My kind of stuff

  6. Commented by: stiffy

    I actually bought the LP edition. I heard the songs on their myspace and this is definitley one of the better bands to do this in recent years. I like Melodic death and always thought the genre got a bad rap after 2000. Lots can be done for melo death if the right bands come out.

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