Time to feature yet another gem from The Netherlands! Cardamon hails from Utrecht and sounds similar to our previous Check It Out band (and fellow countrymen/woman), Only Fate Remains. What makes Cardamon different from OFR is its balance of sounds: their songs contain metallic riffs, semi-progressive structures, acoustic passages, and enchanting melodies courtesy of Floortje Donia. The best word I can use to describe Cardamon’s music is “melancholy.” You can hear and sense that emotion in the lyrics, the vocals, and the moods created by the music. Think of Cardamon as a female-fronted version of Katatonia during their Last Fair Deal Gone Down days – or a mix of Katatonia, Autumn, The Gathering, and circa-1999 Anathema.
Cardamon has played a number of shows in their homeland over the past couple years. A number of those gigs were opening slots for Delain, Stream of Passion, Kingfisher Sky, and Autumn. So, this band has had a lot of great opportunity to get their name out there in Holland. Oh, and two trivia bits for you: Cardamon guitarist Koen Romeijn is the lead singer of the melodic death metal band Detonation. And, bassist Luuk van Gerven played the same instrument for After Forever until that band split up in 2009. Just goes to show that Cardamon’s members have a wide range of tastes in metal music!
Cardamon has two albums under their belt: The Primrose Path, released in 2007; and Sun As Never (pictured above), which came out last month. Sun As Never sees the band going in a heavier direction. As a result, the music has a stronger electric-guitar base and is generally more uptempo. The lyrics and prevailing moods, however, are still dark, somber, and introspective. Cardamon has actually released Sun As Never for free download only at their website. So if you haven’t heard of Cardamon before, this is a good opportunity to do so – without opening your wallet!
Out of both Cardamon albums, however, I prefer The Primrose Path a smidge more. I find something charming about that record’s delicate balance of electric and acoustic moments as well as Floortje’s clear, lilting harmonies. A great example of all of the elements that make up The Primrose Path is the song “Sleepless World.” The intro grabs your attention while building in intensity, and the song as a whole is full of those contrasts that make up Cardamon’s signature sound.
- Floortje Donia: Vocals
- Koem Romeijn: Guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
- Kevin Storm: Guitars
- Luuk van Gerven: Bass
- Michael van der Kolk: Drums