Flowing Tears - Thy Kingdom Gone review
|Album:||Thy Kingdom Gone|
|Release date:||October 2008|
02. Pain Has Taken Over
03. Rain Of A Thousand Years
05. Thy Kingdom Gone
06. Words Before You Leave
07. Miss Fortune
08. Colossal Shaped Despair
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.
||Written on 18.02.2009 by Music and the written word are two of my passions in life, so I figured, why not combine the two?|
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