Rating:
8.7
While Heaven Wept - Vast Oceans Lachrymose
3 November 2009


01. The Furthest Shore
02. To Wander The Void
03. Living Sepulchre
04. Vessel
05. Vast Oceans Lachrymose
06. Epilogue


Beautiful.

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.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: While Heaven Wept
Album: Vast Oceans Lachrymose


 



Written on 21.01.2010 by
Darkside Momo
Used to be your regular Hellfest reporter, now almost retired . I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.
More reviews by Darkside Momo ››

Guest review by
Parasomnia

Rating:
9.3
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.

Read more ››
published 09.05.2011 | Comments (3)



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annodomini - 21.01.2010 at 14:14  
One of my 3 favorites of 2009. AMazing and beautiful.
schwanderen - 21.01.2010 at 14:32  
Second to Diablo Swing Orchestra - Sing along songs from the damned and the delirious. This is the the best album the metal world has processed in QUITE a while.
Elio - 21.01.2010 at 15:13  
I tried it with many expectations, it didn't survive the hype.
Lucas - 21.01.2010 at 15:20  
Written by Elio on 21.01.2010 at 15:13

I tried it with many expectations, it didn't survive the hype.


How many times if I may ask? It needed about five spins before it clicked with me.
Elio - 21.01.2010 at 15:25  
Written by Lucas on 21.01.2010 at 15:20

Written by Elio on 21.01.2010 at 15:13

I tried it with many expectations, it didn't survive the hype.


How many times if I may ask? It needed about five spins before it clicked with me.


Less than 5 tbh, but just the awesome opener was worthing hearing again IMO.
MeloDeathViking - 21.01.2010 at 15:51  
Great review! I agree with your point about the instrumentals. I personally feel they shouldn't have closed with two in a row. As of now it has my vote for best doom album of the year. I'll have to wait and see what the other contenders are though.
Marcel Hubregtse - 21.01.2010 at 16:02  
Written by MeloDeathViking on 21.01.2010 at 15:51

Great review! I agree with your point about the instrumentals. I personally feel they shouldn't have closed with two in a row. As of now it has my vote for best doom album of the year. I'll have to wait and see what the other contenders are though.


There's only one instrumental on this album and that is closer Epilogue.
MeloDeathViking - 21.01.2010 at 16:14  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.01.2010 at 16:02

Written by MeloDeathViking on 21.01.2010 at 15:51

Great review! I agree with your point about the instrumentals. I personally feel they shouldn't have closed with two in a row. As of now it has my vote for best doom album of the year. I'll have to wait and see what the other contenders are though.


There's only one instrumental on this album and that is closer Epilogue.


I may be wrong, but i'm pretty sure the title track is an instrumental as well. I'll have to listen to it again today.
Valaskjalf - 21.01.2010 at 16:40  
Awesome album....One of my favorites of 2009, but it does sort of make you go like "umm is that it?" by the end of the album because there really are only 4 songs on here. It felt a bit like a long EP.

The opening track is a monster, probably the song Ive been listening to most lately..but again just a pity about the last 2 songs only being instrumental, Im not a big fan of those and it seems like a wasted opportunity. They couldnt have easily replaced one of them with a proper song.
dismaleuphony - 21.01.2010 at 18:52  
Great review, it mirrors my opinion on the album too And ya, that first track is the killer. When the acoustic guitar passage begins at the 9 minute mark, it knocks me down, and when the vocals come in I'm down for good ! This song is nearly my choice for favorite song of the year.

Just a note: while there is text for the title track in the booklet, it's a quotation, not lyrics, and does not appear in the title track in any spoken manner
Troy Killjoy - 21.01.2010 at 21:30  
Man I wanted to get into this album so badly. I heard rave reviews from Marcel and thought I'd check it out, but it just has a weird power metal feel to it and I can't get over that and into the doom aspect. It's unfortunate that my pseudo-hatred for one genre completely prevents me from liking an album.

The musicianship is outstanding and the atmosphere is of the overwhelming variety. I rated this a 4 a while ago and I think I'd bump it up to a 6.5 now, although I'd give it a 10 if I could rate it solely based on my personal level of appreciation for the beauty in their music.

Perhaps it's just the vocalist then? I'm not sure. 7 spins and still no miracle.
Burning Winter - 21.01.2010 at 22:16  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 21.01.2010 at 21:30

I heard rave reviews from Marcel and thought I'd check it out, but it just has a weird power metal feel to it and I can't get over that and into the doom aspect. It's unfortunate that my pseudo-hatred for one genre completely prevents me from liking an album.


Well the power feel is why I can get into this album. I'm not usually listening to doom metal, but I don't know, I feel like this one is different from what I heard from other doom bands the little power thing you pointed out just do it for me . Great album for me.
Marcel Hubregtse - 21.01.2010 at 22:20  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 21.01.2010 at 21:30

Man I wanted to get into this album so badly. I heard rave reviews from Marcel and thought I'd check it out, but it just has a weird power metal feel to it and I can't get over that and into the doom aspect. It's unfortunate that my pseudo-hatred for one genre completely prevents me from liking an album.



You probably know that I hate power metal even more than you but that hasn't stopped me from loving this album. But then again this more US Power than Euro Flower. VoL is very reminiscent of early Fates Warning
THE_BLACK_GOD - 21.01.2010 at 22:35  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.01.2010 at 22:20

You probably know that I hate power metal even more than you but that hasn't stopped me from loving this album. But then again this more US Power than Euro Flower. VoL is very reminiscent of early Fates Warning

it seems that we have same opinions over here Marcel. and have same opinions about 2 things! first about flower metal and secondly about this album. this album sounds like US power metal, Im 100% agree. I remember that some years ago even Manowar was in the list of Epic Doom metal in doom-metal.com.
THE_BLACK_GOD - 21.01.2010 at 23:52  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.01.2010 at 16:02

Written by MeloDeathViking on 21.01.2010 at 15:51

Great review! I agree with your point about the instrumentals. I personally feel they shouldn't have closed with two in a row. As of now it has my vote for best doom album of the year. I'll have to wait and see what the other contenders are though.


There's only one instrumental on this album and that is closer Epilogue.

" ... the two closing instrumentals do lack a bit of intensity compared to the other tracks." this is what the reviewer has said. and my downloaded version is the same. I mean last 2 songs are instrumentals. maybe fake version but it cant be cause "Vast Oceans Lachrymose" which Ive heard is like a instrumental song. Im really lost now!
Marcel Hubregtse - 22.01.2010 at 00:35  
*Breaking news*

MARCEL ADMITS MISTAKE

The title track Vast Oceans Lachrymose is indeed an instrumental, mea culpa.

Got home just now and the vinyl version of Vast Oceans Lachrymose had arrived (the 1st limited pressing from the US on Maniacal Records) so I put side b on. And indeed the title track is an instrumental. I probably got it wrong tdue to, like Dismaleuphony said, there is text for the title track on the inlay (in the booklet for the cd)

Btw, the vinyl 12" version is just so much more awesome because the cover artwork really shines on there.
routa - 22.01.2010 at 01:49  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 22.01.2010 at 00:35

*Breaking news*

MARCEL ADMITS MISTAKE



!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Daggon - 22.01.2010 at 02:09  
Written by Guest on 22.01.2010 at 01:49

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 22.01.2010 at 00:35

*Breaking news*

MARCEL ADMITS MISTAKE



!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I had the same thought hahaha
THE_BLACK_GOD - 22.01.2010 at 02:30  
@Marcel, NP its nothing. I really liked this album and 2 instrumental songs were very nice. I liked them so much.
Paradox0 - 22.01.2010 at 09:04  
Its funny that I've been noticing alot of doom bands (well from what I've been hearing as of late anyways) start off with their epic 10+ minute songs. As for the album. Just a little too mellow for my taste I suppose. Personally I preferred Isole's new work to this.
Metal Maiden - 22.01.2010 at 11:55  
Took me just about 40 seconds in their myspace to fall in love...One of my favourite albums of the year, if not THE most favourite...Though, I must say, it is just as amazing as their previous works...And yes, the title song does have lyrics, but it is an instrumental...

P.S. Can somebody provide a high-res scan of the front cover, like that of Shrinebuilder...
advent - 22.01.2010 at 13:31  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 21.01.2010 at 21:30

Man I wanted to get into this album so badly. I heard rave reviews from Marcel and thought I'd check it out, but it just has a weird power metal feel to it and I can't get over that and into the doom aspect. It's unfortunate that my pseudo-hatred for one genre completely prevents me from liking an album.

The musicianship is outstanding and the atmosphere is of the overwhelming variety. I rated this a 4 a while ago and I think I'd bump it up to a 6.5 now, although I'd give it a 10 if I could rate it solely based on my personal level of appreciation for the beauty in their music.

Perhaps it's just the vocalist then? I'm not sure. 7 spins and still no miracle.


well that what i thought so.....the music is too rapid to be called a doom metal
Marcel Hubregtse - 22.01.2010 at 14:00  
Written by advent on 22.01.2010 at 13:31



well that what i thought so.....the music is too rapid to be called a doom metal


Doom metal can be very fast. Speed isn't the defining thing for doom.
Götter - 22.01.2010 at 17:26  
I must say I first read you saying "got HORNY just now...". This really changed the entire meaning of what you wrote. I am still recovering.

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 22.01.2010 at 00:35

Got home just now and the vinyl version of Vast Oceans Lachrymose had arrived (the 1st limited pressing from the US on Maniacal Records) so I put side b on. And indeed the title track is an instrumental. I probably got it wrong tdue to, like Dismaleuphony said, there is text for the title track on the inlay (in the booklet for the cd)

Btw, the vinyl 12" version is just so much more awesome because the cover artwork really shines on there.
Marcel Hubregtse - 22.01.2010 at 17:27  
Written by Götter on 22.01.2010 at 17:26

I must say I first read you saying "got HORNY just now...". This really changed the entire meaning of what you wrote. I am still recovering.

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 22.01.2010 at 00:35

Got home just now and the vinyl version of Vast Oceans Lachrymose had arrived (the 1st limited pressing from the US on Maniacal Records) so I put side b on. And indeed the title track is an instrumental. I probably got it wrong tdue to, like Dismaleuphony said, there is text for the title track on the inlay (in the booklet for the cd)

Btw, the vinyl 12" version is just so much more awesome because the cover artwork really shines on there.



Well, when I got home and opened the package I did get horny.
Ag Fox - 22.01.2010 at 17:52  
Finally got round to listen to this album. Magnificent opening track indeed, but the finishing did feel weak in relative terms. Two instrumentals in a row isn't the most effective arrangement =/
THE_BLACK_GOD - 22.01.2010 at 19:00  
Written by advent on 22.01.2010 at 13:31

well that what i thought so.....the music is too rapid to be called a doom metal

Doom metal can be fast as well, take a look at "Death Magic Doom" for example.
advent - 22.01.2010 at 19:28  
I understand that doom metal can be aggressive and fast some times but still can't shake the feeling that this is more like power metal and i don't like power metal btw
Passenger - 22.01.2010 at 22:06  
This album is awesome. So awesome.
Mr. Doctor - 22.01.2010 at 22:49  
It is beautiful indeed, great musicanship and the band really put their hearts on their music... But no, I don't like it. This is still too much power metal for my tastes.
annodomini - 23.01.2010 at 16:49  
D Who cares what style it is It's beautiful, and that is the only thing that matters.
benvolent - 25.01.2010 at 00:00  
Yet another band, that shows how stupid and useless all the genres and classifications are! Would have never thought of doom, when I listened to them... nono!

power doom? whatever...
THE_BLACK_GOD - 25.01.2010 at 02:48  
Written by advent on 22.01.2010 at 19:28

I understand that doom metal can be aggressive and fast some times but still can't shake the feeling that this is more like power metal and i don't like power metal btw

2 last songs are absolutely doom metal and others have more doom elements than us power elements. but as I said Death Magic Doom is more power take a look at that album.
benvolent - 26.01.2010 at 00:22  
Written by Paradox0 on 22.01.2010 at 09:04

Just a little too mellow for my taste I suppose. Personally I preferred Isole's new work to this.

Two thumbs up and a huge thanks for that recommendation. Isole was quite a discovery for me!
Stigmatized - 27.01.2010 at 15:06  
I really dug this album. I was a little confused by the sound the album had at first but ended up really enjoying it. I had a hard time listening to "Of Empires Forlorn", but after hearing this I'm encouraged to go back and listen to it again. The cover art for VOL is indeed amazing as well. 8/10
THE_BLACK_GOD - 27.01.2010 at 15:08  
Ok, after a lot of rounds I realized that its half doom and half power (as Marcel said US Power). but its seems that its more Power than Doom, Im agree on this now.
Valaskjalf - 27.01.2010 at 19:26  
Well personally I love this album BECAUSE it is not out and out doom...I wouldnt have been able to listen to it if it was slow and dreary. I know Marcel insists that the slowness isnt the difining characteristic of Doom metal, but from my experience in checking out what all the doom-heads on the site always rave about it seems that being dreadfully slow IS in fact a reaccuring thread throughout their suggestions.

The vocals are magnificent (I dont know what some people's problem is with clean vocals!? They probably ONLY listen to metal then..), beautiful interplay between heavy and lighter passages and awesome lyrics. Very epic album, similar in quality to "..Of Empires Forlorn" yet not similar in sound - impressive.
Merchant of Doom - 29.01.2010 at 11:50  
This album is all I despise about metal... cheesy, proggy, mainstream power shit for teenagers... and don't call it doom... there isn't any.
Glen_Doom - 11.02.2010 at 12:06  
For me this is Progressive Doom. Doom because the tempo is quite slow and progressive because it pushes the boundries of the genre. They way I look at it, I don't see any relation to Power Metal because for me power metal has to have that fast galloping rythm and WHW certainly don't have that.

Anyway if any of you get the chance to watch this band live, do it. It will blow you away!
Grimskallen - 31.03.2010 at 14:51  
After countless listens, I still find the instrumentals annoyingly unnecessary. Apart from that, this is a killer album! The introduction of some more upbeat melodies doesn't harm this album at all. Both "Vast Oceans Lachrymose" and "..Of Empires Forlorn" are solid records.
soadbyob - 31.03.2010 at 15:54  
Most Epic.Album.Ever.
cjs675 - 11.05.2010 at 11:39  
I didn't care for this album at first, I actually described it as In Flames from 10 years ago with the guy from Europe doing the vocals, harsh, I know. Of course now all of this has changed to the point where VOL is my no 1 pick for 2k9.

"Epic" is a word that is used far too often, it's used to describe rubbish over-hyped movies like "Troy" or tourist dives like the Bahamas. Here the use of "epic" checks all the boxes, even if you're not that into doom or if even, like me, you're not that into clean vocals, Vast Oceans Lachrymose is worth checking out.
BitterCOld - 05.08.2010 at 07:28  
Still has yet to click with me. don't really like it that much. every time it pops up on my "DOOM" playlist, i wonder if i somehow accidentally swtiched over to my "CHEESE" playlist...
Mr. Doctor - 06.08.2010 at 00:18  
Written by BitterCOld on 05.08.2010 at 07:28

Still has yet to click with me. don't really like it that much. every time it pops up on my "DOOM" playlist, i wonder if i somehow accidentally swtiched over to my "CHEESE" playlist...


It will never click with me, that is for sure... I don't understand the huge hype this album had during the past time. It got second on the awards and this is not doom for me. It's cheesy as hell and I haven't listened to power metal in a long time now and I preffer it that way.
Maxx666 - 28.11.2010 at 21:52  
"" 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! "" oh yeah they are beautiful really beautiful. they add a whole new dimension to the music. It sounds like heaven really wept all its sorrow out on this album

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