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Melancholic mastery - 90%

Suechtler, May 26th, 2008

„Come heavy sleep, the image of true death
And close up these my – my weary weeping eyes
Whose spring of tears doth stop my vital breath
And tears my heart with sorrows sight swoll’n cries.”

The first verse of Die Verbannten Kinder Evas’s second album, which is, like all lyrics on this album, taken from English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley pretty much tells the listener what the atmosphere on this near an hour lasting musical journey is about. While on the group’s first album mastermind Richard Lederer (better known as Protector) was heavily influenced by the music he was writing for his main project Summoning, on Come Heavy Sleep we can hear the sound moving even more in Gothic/Darkwave territories while always maintaining a strong Neoclassical aspect not often seen by artists of this genre. Gone are the Summoning Minas Morgul-era-like programmed drums, gone are the harsh vocals, which were used on one track of the s/t, gone as well is fellow band member Silenius’ compositional input.

So what exactly can be expected from this album totally played on synthesizers, a fact, which could accompanied by the album’s release date, lead a potential listener to the thought that he might be served 57 minutes of fake sounding orchestra and poor compositions done by a young musicians from the genre of black metal who wanted to do something eclectic? Well, I was amazed by the sound and production of Come Heavy Sleep when I first listened to it more than two years ago and I haven’t had to change this opinion yet, as while not sounding as real as on DVKEs most recent effort, all the instruments, mostly orchestral string and brass ensembles are used, come over quite realistic, and much more important, totally awesome.

The combination of the aforementioned polyphonic, multilayered orchestral instruments with kettledrums, which are used sparingly but to the greatest effect leads to a sublime, magnificent atmosphere created by the music. On top of that, there are the dreamlike vocals, alternating clean male vocals done by Richard himself, who also has a very nice clean voice and clean female vocals done by his sister Julia. While the vocals can sound quite effect-laden sometimes, they perfectly fit the music, most impressive are the male/female duet sections, which can for example be heard in the album’s title track.

In addition to all that, it must be said that there is quite some variety on Come Heavy Sleep, something which some Darkwave artists lack. The album’s sixth track, The Past, presents the listener with simple but effective piano playing over the steady rhythm of the very organic sounding kettledrums when Richard’s vocals kick in only to be interrupted by a brass sections. As I said before, this album sounds less like Summoning as the band’s debut did, but some parts still seem as they were taken from some unreleased B-sides collection by Summoning like some parts off the fourth track misery. This is not necessarily bad as in my opinion Summoning are prime creators of epic musical art, but others might disagree.

Now hopefully having described Come Heavy Sleep’s music well enough, I’d like to mention that while being very good and the best DVKE album, this is not perfect. The intro and outro are both too long for their own good, the atmosphere created does not justify the amount of repetition used. Furthermore, even though there is quite some variety, Come Heavy Sleep demands a special kind of mood from the listener, as it still is nearly an hour of slow, melancholic music. If this is what you’re looking for, look no further, get this album as I can assure you it will be to your liking.