The Sins Of Thy Beloved - Perpetual Desolation review


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Band: The Sins Of Thy Beloved
Album: Perpetual Desolation
Release date: 2000

01. The Flame Of Wrath
02. Forever
03. Pandemonium
04. Partial Insanity
05. Perpetual Desolation
06. Nebula Queen
07. The Mournful Euphony
08. A Tormented Soul
09. The Thing That Should Not Be [Metallica cover]
10. World Of Day [Japanese bonus]

When Theatre Of Tragedy emerged from the blackened realms of Norway, they offered a refreshing sound that was nowhere near what that region had (and still is, in some aspects) long been associated with. Their theatrical, dramatic Gothic Metal proved that there was more in Norway than corpsepaint and church burnings. Since then, there have emerged bands like Tristania, Trial Of Tears and Myriads, using Theatre Of Tragedy's basic foundation and created their own unique musical visions around it, forming a scene that has more to do with current Norwegian metal than "true black metal".

Along with Tristania, The Sins Of Thy Beloved are atop this movement and their second release, "Perpetual Desolation", sees the band injecting a bit more aggression into their Symphonic Metal approach, a move similar to what Tristania did with their most recent "Beyond The Veil" opus. "Perpetual Desolation" boasts a wonderful production, courtesy of the band and Terje Refsnes. The sound is crystal clear and powerful, making every instrument perfectly audible. And this fact is enhanced tenfold when considering the remarkable talents of the 7 musicians that make up this unit. However, for all their instrumental accomplishments, The Sins Of The Beloved's songwriting tends to suffer from overabundance of musical ideas. "Perpetual Desolation" lacks the overwhelming emotional and atmospheric aspects that make Tristania the best band currently playing this style. The Sins Of Thy Beloved have not mastered the task of keeping things interesting throughout the length of each song, leaving their songs come across more like a schizophrenic mixture of various musical embellishments rather than creating anything particularly moving or memorable. No song really stands out as a whole. Within each of these nine tracks there can be found passages that could have been deleted for the better of the song, in turn leaving no song flowing for its duration and with these songs being of the rather lengthy variety, this makes me find myself drifting off during certain sections of these songs. If only they would condense their ideas, their desired intent could be much more effective. The band is quite adept at creating atmospheric impact, but it isn't long before these moments are disrupted by instrumental embellishments and directionless passages.

For instance, "Forever" and "Partial Insanity" both begin on positive notes, drawing the listener into the song with emotional atmospheres and memorable melodies, but it's almost as if the band become bored, or suffer from attention deficit disorder, and the songs drift in and out of potent and forgettable moments, losing sight of the initial theme. "Nebula Queen" is probably as close as they come at writing a song that flows well and does not abandon its original theme, with memorable moments abounding within "Pandemonium" and "The Mournful Euphony". It's all very technically proficient, yet something's missing. The gruff and screamed male vocals lack conviction and the female vocals, while possessing a floating, angelic tone, can at times become annoying. Stand-in violinist Pete Johansen, who also has done work for Tristania, is a supreme player, but his playing is too busy to achieve what the instrument should do in the context of this form of music, which is to enhance atmosphere. Johansen's approach is akin to that of a lead guitar, sort of like Eddie Van Halen on violin. His best performance comes in "The Mournful Euphony", which not only stands out as the band's most effective marriage of aggression and atmosphere, but benefits greatly from Pete's more subtle playing during the more atmospheric sections.

The album closes with a Symphonic Metal approach to Metallica's "The Thing That Should Not Be". It makes an interesting listen with female vocals merging with harsh male vox and Pete's violin unsurprisingly playing Kirk Hamment's guitar solo making this version much more interesting than the original.

Written by Allen | 29.09.2003


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 12   Visited by: 99 users
11.07.2006 - 14:26
Jesus man. What do church burnings have to do with the music? Or the term "true norwegian black metal" for that matter?
When the sun rises I take my flock on the balks
When the moon rises I tell the woods good night
31.07.2006 - 09:17
Jason W.
This is an extremely accurate review of the disc, and isn't too different from my own thoughts. Some people really enjoy the final 4 tracks of the disc, like myself... Nebula Queen, The Mournful Euphony and A Tormented Soul are some of the most powerful gothic metal songs out there, and TSOTB really shows off the use of violin. This CD is a bit too difficult for me to listen to regularly, as the first half just does not have the flow I prefer. I do feel the rating is too low, as an 8 or so would be much more fitting. These guys are near the top of the gothic metal scene for their time, and there are many bands who don't approach TSOTB even in their worst moments.
"After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley
31.07.2006 - 19:45
Bitch Boy
I liked your review but the rating is very low!! The production and the performance are excellent. I would give this album 8.5

Actually this album has better technique than "Lake of Sorrow" and a better production. The only thing is that LoS has better songwriting.

My fav songs are "A tormented soul", "The flame of wrarth", "Forever" and the Metallica cover.
29.08.2006 - 23:20
only 6.5? thats a very low marking ... I think it deserves an 8
give praise for the blood it bled,
grant a rose for the dead...
19.04.2007 - 06:01
Account deleted
I'm so glad that Anita came back to band....she'll sing again....
02.05.2007 - 05:49
@ VaronoZz, I agree with you it's kinda low, it deserves more.
@Maral, is that true?, I hadn't heard about that one.
And sometimes I despair
At who I've become
I have to come to terms
With what I've done
04.05.2007 - 11:43
Account deleted
yes it's true lazarus, check this one, here's anita's interview
08.02.2008 - 11:54
Pale Enchantress
Account deleted
I like thsi album better than lake of sorrow plus anita's voice sounds better too
25.08.2008 - 00:30
Metal Symphony
damn!!!!!! 6.5:S:S:S man u got it all wrong:S judging on the effort the band did and the great quality of music!!! honestly the 1st album is better....but this should take a minimum of 8!!:S
What is the meaning of this conspiracy,
The conspiracy that God has offered me,
Clinging me to the hands of insanity,
Concealing me in a lifetime fond of misery.
17.07.2010 - 05:52
I totally agree with this review, I simply can't stand this album (I loved lake of sorrow). I own it but I just can't listen to it... and I hated the Metallica cover.
Please don't throw stones at me
"i still can't imagine any of them dead. They live on; they are fixed on that far-off region called childhood, were nothing ever dies, not even oneself."
28.02.2012 - 15:41
Very very low rating in imo.
Beware the Shadows of Dusk
04.11.2012 - 15:37
I think this review is too strict. The whole album is flawless. It deserves a 9. I give it a 10 due to low average rating

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