Samsara is my first experience with the Finnish band To Die For. It's likely because the haven't released any new material since 2006, about the time Dangerdog started, and then disband shortly after. Samsara, a sanskrit term meaning the repeating cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth, is a fitting title for the album. To Die For has been reborn as a cadre of original, past and new members.
If you look most anywhere, from Wikipedia to Massacre's promo sheet, TDF is often referred to as a gothic metal band. The whole 'gothic' thing has always been a bit slippery for me. Certainly there's a dark, more melancholy, side to their music. Death Comes in March and Loves a Sickness could qualify.
But there's much here that sounds like good old melodic heavy metal. Yes, perhaps a bit more haunting in places, but melodic metal nonetheless. Kissing the Flames, Damned Rapture, and Cry For Love could fit this description. That last song, Cry For Love, could easily pass for a rocker, a radio-friendly one at that. Then there's some strange tunes here. Both Oblivion Vision and Someday Somewhere Somehow have a strange feeling to them. The is light and haunting, yet seems directionless. The latter probably strikes closer to the gothic metal of the mid-Nineties, yet feels like there's a traditional heavy metal monster clawing to get out at the end.
Nevertheless, Samsara finds the reborn To Die Far digging deep to find the spark and music that gave them early success. I think longtime fans will dig this album.
Addendum: this album was complete DIY project, from recording to release in 2011, the band did the work. It's been picked up by Germany's Massacre Records, which how it came to Dangerdog Music Reviews, for European release; I don't know if it's available in the States.