While Heaven Wept - Vast Oceans Lachrymose review
|Band:||While Heaven Wept|
|Album:||Vast Oceans Lachrymose|
|Release date:||November 2009|
01. The Furthest Shore
02. To Wander The Void
03. Living Sepulchre
05. Vast Oceans Lachrymose
That was the first thing I thought after I gave this album the first spin. As soon as it begins, you're swept in epic and moody music for a bit more than forty minutes (forty minutes? No kidding, this is indeed a short doom album).
It all starts with "The Furthest Shore", a 15 minutes epic. Fast at times, slow and tragic at others, progressive maybe, it's a really varied and intense song. While it can be reminiscent of some heavy/power metal bands on some keyboards and vocals parts, it's just the mood that puts it miles away… The ship's captain is facing, sadly but resolutely, what is the last storm he'll ever get in.
Hum. I see you frowning in puzzlement. I wrote about something fast. Yes, quite a few riffs on this album are definitively up-tempo, especially on "Living Sepulchre". And While Heaven Wept are considered a doom band, right? 'But doom is slow!' you'll say. Well, generally yes, but doom is also about atmosphere. And (relatively) fast songs like "Living Sepulchre", or "To Wander The Void", clearly have this sad, gloomy, but exquisite, mood. They completely drip with it.
A word about the musicians, maybe? Rain Irving, the new vocalist - well, he's in the band since 2004, but it's the first album he records with WHW - was clearly the man for the job. His soaring, soulful and sad vocals are just short of awesome. Maybe, maybe, one could find some lack of power in them on the fast parts… But man! How beautiful they are!
Of course, there's no gripe to be had about all other musicians, who all play flawlessly, all weaving their parts in these songs to create this delightfully sad mood.
But, all the ravishing praise notwithstanding, I do have a gripe with this Vast Oceans Lachrymose. I mean, starting with such an intense and epic song ("The Furthest Shore") is bound to make all following songs sound a bit lackluster. Even if they are not... Well, the two closing instrumentals do lack a bit of intensity compared to the other tracks.
I'll just use one word to conclude: beautiful, indeed.
||Written on 21.01.2010 by Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.|
|The first time I heard While Heaven Wept, one word crossed my mind: Wow. The way this band manages to write doom metal in a major key blows my mind. This band is incredibly beautiful, yet manages to retain the metal element at the same time.
That said, I'll begin my review of Vast Oceans Lachrymose.
The album starts off with a bang. "The Furthest Shore" is an incredible epic of a song. It's got everything you need for a good metal epic: time signature changes, key changes, acoustic passages, and a monumental outro. Usually it would be a logical move to put a fifteen minute song nearer to the end of the album. What this album has on most other bands is all of the material is INCREDIBLE.
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