Countess has been around forever (I believe this is their thirteenth album) and their sound has evolved quite a lot since their days of Bathory/Venom worship. On Wings of Defiance has a very melodic sound, with more Traditional Metal style riffing and less brutality. Still, the vocals are straight-out Venom worship, which puts this at odds with the music. Venom was unique in their sound because they were coming out of the Hardcore scene and their style was very Punk influenced. Cronos used Hardcore style vocals and the music was also very much Hardcore in style. The music of Countess, though, has become more melodic and doesn’t have that Punk edge. The clash of styles sometimes yields interesting results, but in this case, the vocals are too much at odds with the music. It would be like Chris Barnes (Six Feet Under/ex-Cannibal Corpse) joining Iron Maiden and not changing his vocal style at all. You can have great music, but if you have a vocalist that doesn’t fit the music, it will result in the whole thing not living up to its potential. This is the case here. The music pretty much requires a melodic singer - not someone who wants to sound like Cronos.
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