The Sins of thy Beloved – Lake of Sorrow – 4/5
A review initially intended for my review extravaganza coming at the end of the month, I couldn’t review it as the female vocals were not the focus of this piece. So I present to you early, a Symphonic Gothic/Doom band, which despite both “symphonic” and “Gothic” being present in their genre description, fall well out of the range of pigeon-holing as a nightwish clone.
The sound they have created relies heavily on the atmosphere to sustain it, and despite many of the more prominent layers, are often the most important part of their sound. The drums are largely inaudible, trusting heavily in a far more classical sounding approach – Keyboards strategically used to create gentle melodies over a crunching and deep doom-filled guitar riffs – it is this backing that primarily creates the atmosphere so critical to their sound.
The vocals are layered on top of this, the deep male growls alternating with the soft female ‘faux-operatic’ vocals, both done very well, and mixed in the final sound in such a way that it doesn’t draw focus from the rather basic atmospheric work going on in the background. It adds another layer, creating something memorable, but not being so loud as to overpower the keyboard melodies, and this allows the piece to feel more consistent, and not simply “vocalist and her band.” Everyone has their place, and nothing is left feeling redundant.
This is especially true of the violin work. Saving the best for last, the use of violin here is quite simply phenomenal. The ‘riffs’ where he takes over the job of the vocals well and truly steal the show, being not only atmospheric, addictive and unusual, but the most versatile, adding to the atmosphere significantly whilst drawing attention. The real travesty is that the violinist was but a guest musician, when he so readily becomes the centrepiece for this atmospheric display.
So, apparently a short review this time. Their sound is fairly basic, unusual but nothing particularly bizarre. The atmosphere created maintains a steady line between doom filled aggression and gothic depressive tone, allowing the growls to tip it to one side, or the clean vocals tip it back again. I expect a number of people are still anxious about the prospect of a gothic metal band that receives high reviews – if this album doesn’t do it for you, gothic metal is probably a genre you should steer well clear of.
Highlights: My Love, The Kiss, Lake of Sorrow