While Heaven Wept - Vast Oceans Lachrymose review


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Band: While Heaven Wept
Album: Vast Oceans Lachrymose
Release date: November 2009

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


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.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


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.

Guest review by
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.

published 09.05.2011 | Comments (3)

Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 45   Visited by: 282 users
23.01.2010 - 16:49
D Who cares what style it is It's beautiful, and that is the only thing that matters.
there is nothing left to die for...
25.01.2010 - 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 struggle to free myself of restraints, becomes my very shackles
25.01.2010 - 02:48
Account deleted
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.
26.01.2010 - 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!
The struggle to free myself of restraints, becomes my very shackles
27.01.2010 - 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
27.01.2010 - 15:08
Account deleted
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.
27.01.2010 - 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.
29.01.2010 - 11:50
Merchant of Doom
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.
11.02.2010 - 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!
Spitting in the face of mainstream music !!!
31.03.2010 - 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.
"Popbutikk med platt lyrikk
Skit vil ingen hava"
31.03.2010 - 15:54
Account deleted
Most Epic.Album.Ever.
11.05.2010 - 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.
Ever seen a motorcycle parked outside a shrinks office????
05.08.2010 - 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...
get the fuck off my lawn.
06.08.2010 - 00:18
Mr. Doctor
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.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
28.11.2010 - 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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