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"When sorrow embraces my heart it dies alone
True love never dies
Love is suicide"
These three lines (which would be hilarious regardless of the delivery) are respectively whispered, croaked out (in that terrible "dude trying to sound as low as possible" tone) in an hilarious european accent of some sort, and then whispered again. It'd be fair to say that these few lines are pretty representative of the vocal quality throughout the whole album. Desire are certainly keen on testing everyone who says "vocals don't matter much", that's for sure.
Yeah, the vocals fall way over into the "comedy gold" area (the growled vocals being a lot like someone who's never heard death metal doing an impersonation) but it's unfair to write this off- or at least, completely write it off- because there's a bit/a lot of cheese in the vocal area. It's surprising considering just how big the gap between vocals and the rest of the stuff here is; the vocals scream "angsty teen in a bedroom", the rest tells of a fairly competent doom band who could use some better recording gear.
Candlemass, perhaps some funeral doom of the crappy solitude style (although this is better than most on said label), some english death/doom and a lot of subtle and surprisingly classy orchestral touches- a bit of piano rising above the mire here and there, bit of strings that bubble up here and there- y'know, it's actually pretty good. But then the vocals come back in... the hell, Desire? How on earth are these vocals an improvement? You've clearly got something going on here- that lead halfway through the first track is great, the riff near the end rather crushing... The first track in general is fantastic, except for moments like this (whispered in an awkward mediteranean accent) :
"Dance with me
Dance with me
I get the feeling that these dudes (could just be one dude?) don't have a very good grasp of english; it's the best excuse I have for them. It takes a pretty brilliant lyricist to pull off "whining about not getting any vag", and if you barely know the language then you're off to a bad start. This'd be way better if the band just sung in their native language, and for that matter stopped the whispering. It never sounds good, guys! Never! There is not a single band that has ever pulled it off.
It's just so frustrating! The trilogy on here features some of the best funeral doom type stuff I've heard for a long time- interesting, subtle keyboard/synth touches, a bunch of different riffs, a bit of Candlemass in the background of the funeral-ing to keep it somewhat different- but the vocals take it away from being awesome and just lend the whole thing a rather comical, kooky air; I doubt that's what the band was going for. An album full of decent to very good ideas ruined by hilariously bad vocals.
This cd, in my opinion, is the epitome of emotion. This, along with My Dying Bride's "The Dreadful Hours", is what I listen to when I'm down. From the intro of "A Ride in a Dream Crow" to the last seconds of "The Crow Shelter" I'm in a different world I guess you could say.
Well on to the review.
We start with A Ride In A Dream Crow, kind of odd name but it fits their image I suppose. I'm pretty sure the beginning of this song is a sound sample from The Crow, but it's been a long time since I've seen that movie. After the sample it moves to a nice piano piece, not a very long one, but it adds to the song. Tears vocals kick in immediately after, and well I won't ruin the song. The song has a nice pace for death/doom, and Tears vocals are amazing as usual. I like how he uses so many techniques, but I'll get into that later. The guitars are also great, although they say on their website that they only used one guitarist...it sounds like they used two in some places.
Next is a cover of Candlemass' Solitude, no need to explain this song...Desire's take on it is quite interesting. The make it completely their own, its of the death/doom sort instead of trad. doom.
Now on to the epic track(s) of the cd, When Sorrow Embraces My Heart - Movements I-III. Tear's vocals really shine here, he puts his all into it. From whispers, to blackish screams, and to Esotericish grunts and even some of those deeply accented clean vocals. Both guitarists were used on this song, and they both have mournful solos close to the end of Movement III. I love the solos myself, they really add to the song. Flame contributes as normal on the drums keeping the nice slow pace. The bass isn't all that audible, but I'm not that great at identifying bass anyways. The ending is great to, there's a short verse saying that love is suicide, then a sound clip of some guy shooting himself and his girlfriend crying. Its a great ending for a great song. These 3 tracks are my favorites on the cd.
Death Blessed By A God is a more heavy death/doom song then the rest, and the majority of Tear's vocals are the deep grunts. This song took a while to grow on me, but I like it more and more every time I listen to it.
The short outro is a nice exit from the realm that is Pentacrow.
The only reason I gave this cd a 95 instead of a 100, is because of its lack of heavyness. This is possibly because of production, or maybe they wanted the atmospheric touch...I don't know. This is a great cd, if you like emotional death/doom and ever come across this, pick it up.