Rating:
9.0
Flowing Tears - Thy Kingdom Gone
20 October 2008


01. Orchidfire
02. Pain Has Taken Over
03. Rain Of A Thousand Years
04. Grey
05. Thy Kingdom Gone
06. Words Before You Leave
07. Miss Fortune
08. Colossal Shaped Despair
09. Kismet
10. For My Enemies
11. Souls Of The Neon Reign
12. The War We Left Behind


A darker, bleaker Flowing Tears has taken over. The band has left behind the warm sensibilities, rock-oriented productions, and somber romanticism of the past and instead takes us into a tunnel of grey, paralyzing emotions this time around. Thy Kingdom Gone is a true reworking of the band's repertoire, and best of all, they have given us their most adventurous, pointed work to date.

Voyeurs and bystanders we are to the decays of the human race, Thy Kingdom Gone has all the comfort of a damp, abandoned subway station with a schedule that has every arrival time crossed out. This is quite a difference compared with my feelings from the previous three Flowing Tears albums, and particularly from 2004's Razorbliss, the first album with vocalist Helen Vogt. The past albums had a sense of comfort and intimacy, and while the music remains accessible and familiar, Thy Kingdom Gone is now also ominous and obscure.

Credit the excellent guitarwork of Benjamin Buss for leading the way into the album's ever-fading hope. His riffs are instantly recognizable for followers of the band, but now he's given us thicker, heavier approaches that meld seamlessly with the somber and eerie keyboard passages. Buss's presence as the main producer is consistently intense, and he never misses an opportunity to inject a dreary, lingering note or contemplative, addictive riff to push you into the next verse of humanity's decline.

What elevates Flowing Tears above its contemporaries, on this release and on past ones, is that they perform with genuine class, and do not resort to over-indulgence. Hearing this album, I think only of them and am not drenched influences, and I really appreciate how much an album-oriented band they are. I never feel like I am being lead down a predictable road as the disc progresses.

Helen Vogt's vocals illustrate this point exactly, offering a diversified performance devoid of genre clichés. She has really outdone herself, showing drastic improvements in every facet of her approach. There were subtle hints in Razorbliss that she was holding back a bit, and not only does she become more aggressive in Thy Kingdom Gone, but she sings deeper and is forcefully more dynamic. From the beckoning, groovy whispers in "For My Enemies," to raspy melodies throughout "Words Before You Leave," to the soaring, yearning singing on "The War We Left Behind" and "Rain Of A Thousand Years," Vogt excels at giving the album a potent personality. You can sense that she worked hard to bring forth all her natural talents on this release.

I found the disc only comes alive with repeated, full listens, and that some songs are most impressive when listened to in the order they were intended. Two of the more atypical tracks, "Kismet" and the keyboard-oriented "Miss Fortune" caught my eye initially because they tread new territory for the band, but, for example, the depth of the brooding emotions in "Kismet" did not become apparent until I felt its transition from its preceding track into its follower. The screams of pain and anguish just ripple through me each time the disc unfolds.

Thy Kingdom Gone may be more difficult to appreciate than past albums, but with such an oppressive scope, I think it is worth the effort. All of the hints of Helen Vogt's exciting vocal developments that appeared on the 2007 live disc Invanity: Live In Berlin have come to fruition here, and Benjamin Buss's guitarwork is as polished as ever. Even the artwork outside and inside is truly representative of the morose mood throughout the disc, and is one of the most appealing visuals for me for 2008.

In regards to the world's current situation, Flowing Tears have released an ambitious, relevant album full of twelve cohesive tracks, ideal to celebrate our own demise. The album's initial accessibility is merely the stairwell to the desolate subway station that traps you in, only for it disintegrate upon you as you watch it all fade to grey.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 9


Band profile: Flowing Tears
Album: Thy Kingdom Gone


 


written by dismaleuphony | 18.02.2009



Comments

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BloodTears - 19.02.2009 at 10:59  
Oh, wow, Flowing Tears, it's been a while.

I think I'll give it a try.
Abattoir - 19.02.2009 at 15:02  
I still didn't get the time to listen to this new product.

Well, the review about the album is quite promising.
|pyro| - 19.02.2009 at 16:28  
When I first herd this album I thought that the singer is male, she has a really deep and emotional voice, it suits the music very nicely.
velvet - 19.02.2009 at 17:16  
I totally agree with the review, very well written. In an oversaturated genre Flowing Tears maintain a high standard and originality. I was nervous after razorbliss, but this album is superb.
Eternal Pain - 20.02.2009 at 05:13  
Agree good review . thy kingdom done (the song) is great by the male vocal
Trinity Blood - 22.02.2009 at 17:54  
Really good album..good review
Merchant of Doom - 04.03.2009 at 12:28  
9.0 to a generic, mainstream, boring "rock" album? Let's face it, FT keep repeating the same formula... "grey, paralyzing emotions"... mmmm.... where? "Most adventurous, pointed work to date"? There's nothing adventurous about FT... the actual title track is emabarassing. You like fake rock-metal crap, buy it...
THE_BLACK_GOD - 11.01.2010 at 23:31  
This album deserved everything which I read in this review and 9 is exactly suitable for it. I think this is their best work.
Ag Fox - 03.02.2010 at 17:19  
Never got into this album last year. Was about to delete a moment ago to clear disk space, but it's a lot better than I remembered, so I guess not lol Gotta love the darkish rock voice
Passenger - 18.02.2010 at 16:54  
This album is excellent, I sympathize with Flowing Tears, I guess they're not the biggest Gothic band out there, but they have their own thing, they have this very stripped out sound that's really enjoyable. I love Pain Has Taken Over, the initial riff alone sends shivers down my spine and those lyrics, damn, it's so good.
Wishmaster - 02.09.2010 at 23:42  
A lot of people think that this album is mediocre, but imho I think it's brilliant! It is not phenomenal, but it's exquisite. It means a lot to me.

The review is very well done!
WorpeX - 17.04.2011 at 23:24  
I think the album is absolutely incredible. One of my all-time favorites. I find myself coming back to this album even after not having listened to the band for months and it still gives me chills! I love Helen's voice, although she does sound similar to the old singer, her growling really sets her apart. I hope Flowing Tears continues, i'd love to hear more from them. At the moment, they appear to be in a pretty long Hiatus. : /
Milena - 27.06.2011 at 15:25  
Oh, it's just awesome <3

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