I generally hate doing EP reviews because with only two or three songs to listen to, it’s hard to tell how good a band is or where they’re at musically. Even with established bands, EPs tend to be hit-or-miss affairs. A Ceremony at the Edge of a Burning Page is a fairly good EP. Bishop of Hexen comes from an era when sounding like Cradle of Filth didn’t immediately get you called a poser faggot. And these guys do sound a lot like Cradle of Filth. Even after all of these years, Bishop of Hexen still has trouble shaking the comparison. I don’t know if that is going to help or hurt their prospects for recording and releasing a new album. The band has been on hiatus for the last several years and this release is essentially to let their fans know that they’re still active. The two songs on display here are pretty standard fare for BoH. The first thing that you notice, besides the obvious Cradle of Filth comparison, is that the guitars are barely audible at best. I think that I hear them clearly for about five seconds on the first song and then they get buried underneath the massive keyboard sound. This fourteen-minute EP is essentially snarling vocals, symphonic keyboards and blasting drums. If I were the guys playing the guitars and the bass, I’d be pretty pissed. Honestly, what’s the point of having a bass player and two guitarists if you don’t ever hear them? They may as well not even be there. I was never a huge fan of this band, mostly because if I wanted to listen to Cradle of Filth, I already owned several of their albums. Clone bands never got a lot of space in my CD collection and while Bishop of Hexen did a fairly good job of it, they were still one of the clones. If you’re already a fan and you have to have everything they put out, you’ll probably enjoy this as much as anything else they’ve done. The rest of us aren’t really missing anything.
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