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No country has its own sound quite like Finland, and few bands embody that sound like Eternal Tears of Sorrow (ETOS from here on). On "Saivon Lapsi", the band's seventh full-length, and third since its 2006 resurrection, the Finnish sound continues to bleed through every moment.
Keyboard-saturated, gothic/melodic death metal remains the order-of-the-day for ETOS, along with supremely catchy songwriting and a varied vocal approach. Intertwining guitar/keyboard leads provide ample melody, along with the liberal use of both male and female clean vocals. However, the extreme vocals of Altti Vetelainen are utilized in the majority, which, along with plenty of crunchy riffs and very sturdy rhythm section, keep the album steeped in more than enough aggression. Choir-led sections and acoustic bits contribute a dark atmosphere, completing the package. Much like country-mates Amorphis and Insomnium, ETOS have a way of transporting the listener to a misty evening in the Land of a Thousand Lakes.
"Saivon Lapsi" is a worthy effort from start to finish, and a great follow-up to "Children Of The Dark Waters". Listening as a whole has the best affect, but check out "The Day", "Beneath The Frozen Leaves" and "Angelheart, Ravenheart (Act III - Saivon Lapsi)" for good sampling of what ETOS are all about. Fans of the band's past works should find nothing but enjoyment.
(originallly written for www.metal-observer.com)