Rating:
8.7
On Thorns I Lay - Crystal Tears
1999


01. Crystal Tears
02. My Angel
03. Obsession
04. Crystal Tears II (Loosing Her)
05. Ophelia
06. Eden
07. Enigma
08. Midnight Falling
09. All is Silent
10. Feelings
11. True Belief [Japanese bonus]
12. Oceans [Japanese bonus]
13. All Is Silent [previous version] [Japanese bonus]


On Thorns I Lay's "Crystal Tears" is their third release, a step forward for this wonderful Greek band, as they always did from album to album as the years were passing by. As they say themselves, "Crystal Tears" was the album where they found their personal style, the sound that expresses them as a band 100% moving in atmospheric/gothic metal/rock soundscapes. In this album the sense of melancholy is very intense and overruns the listener more than any other feeling making him shiver in the frost. Chris and Stefanos, the two former members of the band, at the current moment are studying at universities of Romania and they cooperate with Helena playing the viola and the violin, Joanna playing the keyboards and Andrei playing the drums, having not only a band relationship but also being friends with them. The recording of "Crystal Tears" in one hand was a bit difficult because the members of the band were living in different cities and they had to wait for their free time to get together and work on ideas and proceed to the making of "Crystal Tears" but in the other hand, On Thorns I Lay feel like a band for the first time and they are very excited with the fact that all the members of the band work together pouring themselves into their compositions.

Right before listening to "Crystal Tears" you stare at its cover (no happy colours and a tormented figure of a girl. And then the title; "Crystal Tears", how poetic and how gently prepares the listener for the melancholy that this release exudes) and you are getting prepared of what will follow, of how deep are the emotions that will overrun you, of how esoteric the lyrics and the music are, straight from fragile human hearts. Lyrics referring to human relations, solitude, melancholy, love, death, bleak emotions and the music pacing with the lyrics moving in dreary and bleak soundscapes mainly inspired by Anathema and Theatre of Tragedy's "Aegis", but also adding the unique On Thorns I Lay feeling and ideas to "Crystal Tears". I press the "play" button, I turn off the lights, the album begins to play and I lose myself in a sea of emotions, an ocean of sadness filled with…

…"Crystal Tears"; inspired guitar riffing, emotional piano pieces caressing your soul and the violin's bitter melodies cut you with rose-leafs deep inside your heart accompanying the dark reciting male vocals and the ethereal sweet female voice evoking a melancholic atmosphere. The "crystal tears" keep on flowing with "My Angel", an esoteric composition filled with emotions, emotions you really can't forget for they are a part of you after you read the lyrics of this composition, after you listen to the acoustic guitar chords that pace with your heartbeat and this violin melody that pierces your soul and leaves you wounded, bleeding. The peaceful guitar chords continue the album and the thoughtful "Obsession" starts to echo in the room. Tranquil, almost reciting vocals accompanied by the sound of the guitar riffing and the painful sound of the violin, which literary kills evoking a nostalgic feeling in the air…

…and tears keep on flowing with "Crystal tears II (Losing Her) and sounds from above, keyboard FX, evoke a chaotic feeling whilst a female voice at times whispers "crystal tears". And we reach "Ophelia", an utterly emotional composition, filled emotions of longing, love, remembrance being expressed through the lovely lyrics and the melancholic atmosphere of the song where for one more time the violin and the guitars steal the show with their atmosphere-evoking sound. "Red wine I drink and to the golden coast I sing" a female voice recites and the gates of "Eden" slowly open and you can sense the tranquillity of Heaven while the painful violin and the guitar chords' melodies give you wings, scattered ones though, in your search of paradise of your "Eden", making the flight painful; the piano piece that enters in the middle of the song can easily make you cry and along with the fading reciting and the violin's sound you lose yourself in a grey landscape.

The serene "Enigma" follows, pacing with the whole melancholic feeling of the album; the atmosphere is so tranquil that even when the guitar chords turn to heavier riffs can't break this peaceful feeling, letting the piano pieces, the violin's sweet melody and the ethereal female voice's beauty lead the way while in the far horizon you can see "Midnight Falling", a lyrically thoughtful composition based on the keyboard's devout sound and Stefanos' reciting voice. "All is Silent" follows, tormenting the silence of the previous song, painting the soundscape with dreary melodies, symphonies of pain while the violin's bleak crying sound tears apart the listener's heart while the guitar riffing holds tight the song and Stefanos is expressing the melancholic lyrics in a descriptive way and he seems to be living them. The end is near and the ideal soundtrack to the bittersweet end is "Feelings", the appropriate title to describe what "Crystal tears" is made of. The inspired guitar riffs, the piano's sweet melody, the violin's velvet sound and the ethereal female voices paint on the canvas of a fragile heart where lovers burn ending the album leaving behind a scent of pure love, though the journey was filled with "crystal tears"…

"Crystal Tears" is definitely a must for the admirers of the emotional side of metal, proceed and intense emotions will overrun your heart, "feelings"…


Band profile: On Thorns I Lay
Album: Crystal Tears


 



Written on 12.09.2004 by
DerRozzengarten
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
More reviews by DerRozzengarten ››



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Troy Killjoy - 18.01.2012 at 01:10  
What a beautiful review, and not a single comment!

So here it is Rozz. Kudos on yet another wonderful write-up.

PS review 666, you're so
DerRozzengarten - 18.01.2012 at 13:55  
Where did ya dig this oldie? O.O But thanks a lot once again and for making me wanna listen to this album after a few years! review 666 must be a demon summoning
Troy Killjoy - 19.01.2012 at 01:16  
Written by DerRozzengarten on 18.01.2012 at 13:55
Where did ya dig this oldie?

There was a brief discussion about Jeff submitting over 1000 reviews and with Lyr's latest review it brought attention to the fact that 1 in 10 reviews on this site are written by Jeff.

So I thought... well, who's got the magic number of reviews? Searched for review 666 and bam. Wound up here and noticed not a single person commented on such a lengthy, well-written review. I don't like seeing hard work go unnoticed.
DerRozzengarten - 19.01.2012 at 01:26  
Yeah, Jeff was a non-stop review machine!
Exams are keeping me back from writing, but i steal time whenever inspiration strikes me
You found this poor and lonely review marked with the sign ov the beast You bitchita you! Thanks again
Milena - 19.01.2012 at 20:49  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 19.01.2012 at 01:16

Written by DerRozzengarten on 18.01.2012 at 13:55
Where did ya dig this oldie?

There was a brief discussion about Jeff submitting over 1000 reviews and with Lyr's latest review it brought attention to the fact that 1 in 10 reviews on this site are written by Jeff.

So I thought... well, who's got the magic number of reviews? Searched for review 666 and bam. Wound up here and noticed not a single person commented on such a lengthy, well-written review. I don't like seeing hard work go unnoticed.

I read one fourth of all Rozz's reviews, but I posted comments on only a handful so he wouldn't assume I'm a freak. Well now he knows it...
Troy Killjoy - 19.01.2012 at 21:24  
Written by Milena on 19.01.2012 at 20:49
I read one fourth of all Rozz's reviews...

I've read them all.
Milena - 19.01.2012 at 21:25  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 19.01.2012 at 21:24

I've read them all.

I'll read them all, just give me time.
dismaleuphony - 20.01.2012 at 10:40  
Wow, now here's an album that is always pleasant to see brought back up. As the years have passed, the main thing that I lament about MS being "reset" was the loss of review comments, because it would have been excellent to revisit how reactions in the community were at the moment the review was published. So much has changed in the way people comment since 2004!

But about the review, it really parallels the mood in the album, and this album was such a triumph for their sound evolution at the time. I miss this band! This is on the list of albums that really helped solidify my newfound love for gothic metal, female vocalists, and melancholy in music. Oceans of sadness indeed!
Polaria - 02.02.2012 at 05:05  
This album is a gem.
Vonpire - 02.03.2012 at 15:51  
Nice review for an outstanding album. Good work.

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