StompBoss : While hearing the first song "Climbing Ideals" of the CD "Still At Arms Length" by the Swedish band The Provenance, I immediately had to think of Opeth…Not that the song was a direct copy or anything, but just the way it was played and the sound reminded me of Opeth. The first song certainly sounded promising.....time to see whether the rest of CD lives up to that promise.
The Provenance is a 5-piece band originating from Gothenburg in Sweden. The band was formed back in 1995 and has released several demos and 1 CD until now. The recordings for their debut album were done privately in 2000 and when Scarlet records signed the band the album was released in 2001. In 2002 the band went back to the studio to record the second album "Still At Arms Length" which was released in January of 2003.
The Provenance plays progressive, melodic death metal on "Still At Arms Length". It's a bit of a mixture between Opeth and the 3rd and the Mortal but the singing of vocalist Emma and guitarist/vocalist Tobias also reminds me a bit of Lacuna Coil. The 8 songs on "Still At Arms Length” are quite long but don't get boring for a minute. "Climbing Ideals” and "At Random Choose” are a bit faster and heavier but the album also has slower and quieter songs like "Tearful, Bitter, Broken” and "Mimie”. The band also put an instrumental song on this album called "The Ardberg Experience”. Musician wise this band is also quite good. Singer Emma has beautiful clear voice that reminds me of Christina from Lacuna Coil and forms a varying vocal duo with guitarist/singer Tobias who has a brutal grunt but also sings with a clean voice quite regularly. Tobias and lead guitarist Joakim take care of the guitar parts on this album, something they do quite well. Together with bass player Jonnie and drummer Joel they create a heavy atmospheric sound on " Still At Arms Length” which.....what else could it be… sounds typical Swedish. The typical guitar sound which also reminds you of bands like At The Gates and In Flames to name but a few. The production of this album is also really good....something which is also typical for the Swedish metal scene. What ever you might think of bands like In Flames, Opeth, Meshuggah and others their production is always pretty damn good!
The Provenance was previously unknown to me but this CD turned out to be a nice surprise. No ear crunching death metal from Gothenburg for a change, but atmospheric ,melodic heavy music with lots of variation and depth. Definitely worth checking out. To the disbelievers amongst you who doubt my words of wisdom and don't want buy this CD just like that, I would say check out the great website of this band and listen to some mp3s to see for yourself what The Provenance is all about..