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Gothic band that doesn't follow the usual formula - 84%

PorcupineOfDoom, February 23rd, 2015

I always seem to enjoy gothic bands that get next to no recognition for what they do. I don't know what it is about them, but the bands that no one seems to have heard of generally sound better than the ones that are household names. And here's yet another diamond in the rough, Flowing Tears from Germany.

The first thing to note is that this isn't the basic 'power metal with operatic cleans' kind of gothic band. For one thing the music is more reminiscent to a hard rock/heavy/doom metal combo than power metal, although there are some metalcore moments mixed in there too. The main thing that I want to highlight though are the vocals. While clean and female, they're far from being operatic and certainly don't resemble those of any other woman that I've heard in the metal scene. They're quite deep for a woman and at times the tone actually sounds masculine, but there's an endearing quality about them and they really work very well with the rest of the band.

The drumming is none too interesting, blast beats not included in the arsenal and most of the stuff a slow beat in the background to keep everyone else on track. The bit that I find interesting is the guitar, which does a lot of different things across the course of Thy Kingdom Gone. At times they turn to chugging, but most of the time they play an interesting set of up and down chords. To be perfectly honest I don't even have a problem with the chugs here as they are kept to a minimum and almost manage to add to the music. Not often that you'll hear that, but there you go. There's a clear doom influence as well that comes into view from the slow nature of some of the riffs, and it adds a bit of darkness to the album which gives it an extra dimension to play with.

Then comes the keyboard, a somewhat subtle entity lying at the back of the band. It isn't particularly noticeable on its own, but it combines well with the guitars to add to the dark feel that seems to be one of the themes of the album. Given that there is only one guitarist the keyboard also fills a few little gaps here and there which the inaudible bass can't seem to do. Admittedly it does get its moments to take the lead when nothing else is playing, but the keys are mostly used to touch things up in the background.

One of the great things about Flowing Tears is that every one of their songs seems to have its own feel to it. No two are copies of each other, and while they aren't as varied as Galadriel were with the tracks on The Mirror of Ages nothing feels like it's been recycled anywhere else. Certain songs go too far and twist themselves multiple times so that you can't be sure if you're still listening to the one track or not, but as a whole this isn't a major problem.

This is another modern gothic album worth checking out if you're interested in the genre, and even if you're more interested in doom metal than gothic metal/rock then this album has plenty of moments that you'll find enjoyable. It's sad that the band's status is no longer clear, but I hope that they can release something like this at some point in the future.

The manifest of darkness draws near - 100%

within_darkness, November 16th, 2008

Flowing Tears was never a band looking for a metal revolution, even in the boundaries of the gothic metal genre, to which they really fit. Honestly, the german quartet hasn’t even made an application for something more, despite of their 13 years on the stage. But the fans that once got in touch intensively with their music can never deny that when Flowing Tears are up to something, they always look over every little detail, from the beginning to the end of the album itself.

After a short break with the concert edition “Invanity – Live In Berlin” which was released the previous year, the band finally released the successor of “Razorbliss”, one of the mass favorite albums in the discography of Flowing Tears, crowned as one of their best achievements. One of the main characteristic features of the musical career of the band has to do a lot with the fact that each album is separated individually and takes its own space, which also goes for the music that’s always very different from the one from the previous record, because unlike many other “artists and creators”, Flowing Tears never remain on the same spot. The musical progress is documented even more brightly in the sixth full-length record of Helen & co, which bears the mirthless name “Thy Kingdom Gone”.

That name is not the only one element bearing a negative message – from the start to its end, the album presents something new as an idea, musical approach and a very different realization for the band. Yet, if until now the comparison of the previous records of Flowing Tears was a hard task, “Thy Kingdom Gone” makes it absolutely impossible. For starters, it’s a conceptual album, which is something new for the works of the band. This represents the most difficult, polygonal and technical construction for the four germans; The dynamical rock elements, combining and bringing together their “old” sound, are now reduced to a critical minimum, and sometimes they’re just missing. Instead of them in the “gone kingdom” rule gothic lines and doomish sound, literally crying motives and a clear, blaming aggression.

The metaphorical idea of the concept is the loss of belief in humanity, goodness and personal abilities – a familiar plot, but nevertheless the way in which Flowing Tears give a physical form of their ideas is really unique. The general impression is supplied with many extended gothic and doom melodies, mixed up with wild dynamics just in order to sharpen the contrast of the first apprehension of the album, and bears with itself the desired dark and heavy suggestion, wrapping both mind and soul of the listeners within a thick depressing, suffocating fog. Helen Vogt once more sings her vocal lines with the same fervency that won her the frontwoman place in the band a couple of years ago, and in addition to the enchanting voice of the siren there are two guest vocalists – Vorph from Samael and Sascha Blach from Transit Poetry (respectively in the songs “Thy Kingdom Gone” and “Souls Of The Neon Reign”). All the exquisitely provisional guitars are being played with lots of attention and musical appraisal; Inside them are crafted numerous interesting elements like a fading radio transmission with the speech of a religious fanatic, disturbing screams of desperation, growling demonic roars, feverish whispers and sounds of a clockwork mechanism which transports every person, bold enough to venture into the depths of the album, into a twisted and perverted version of Wonderland. Sounds great, doesn’t it? And in order for the horrifying picture to be finally completed, the dark circle is closed by ominous sounds that pierce the grey veil with the power of keys and piano arrangements, merged together with the howling of the hooter, foreboding both physical and psychological collapse, fading in the distance over a completely deserted, cursed and meaningless reflection of existence into this treacherous dimension of reality.

Unavoidably the misfortunes that happened to Flowing Tears during the past few years were going to reflect on their music someday. But I doubt there was someone who thought that regardless of the horrible accidents which led to the death of two founding members of the band, they would still find enough strength not only to continue forward with the same professional ambition, but also to transform this mix of negative and crushing emotions into an even more psychedelic foundation for such a climax of creation, which really is “Thy Kingdom Gone”, setting up a clear example for both gothic and doom metal bands nowadays.

Avatar of Doom's Deepness - 95%

Stormkiss1, October 21st, 2008

When I first realized, that Flowing Tears are planning a release of new album, I was more than excited. And after a long and impatient time, my prayers was finally heard. I had album of 12 songs infront of me and I felt, that wasn't a casual album like others released in this year, but a real piece of lustrous beauty.

At the first, when I started to listen Orchidfire, I was more than surprised. But don't be confused, all in the good way. As I said, Orchidfire starts my passion agony and through the "Pain Has Taking Over" and "Kismet", I was already in haven. It wasn't a thing that I expect from after four years comeback, it was event better and also different! Actually yes, it's different, it's not a Jade, it's not a Serpentine or Razorbliss. But as any album before, it got a special spirit and specific spell that Serpentine or Razorbliss missed.

Whole music went to the deepest, mysterious and darkest tones. I can tell you, It's not the old Flowing Tears, at what we were used. Guests in album, like one member of Samael or Sascha Blach is welcome change and I was quite enjoying their endeavour.

Helen Vogt shows again her great skills and wonderful voice, that is also more deep and much more mighty. What really surprised me, was that Helen Vogt also growls in one or two songs and it sounds outstanding! In short, gloomy harmony, more guitar rifs, harder drums and deeper voice, that is what you can expect, if you buy or download Thy Kingdom Gone.

I have to give this album 95%, because this album finally breaks these silent chains, that bounds whole band after year 2004. And what about these 5% you ask? Well, nobody is faultless. You can find also as me some inadequacies, but everything become drowned under the barrage of sensitive music jewels.:) This album is new and next evolution of Flowing Tears's music and absolutely unexceptionable breakthrough. Flowing Tears aren't dead, they are alive like nobody before. Welcome back and thank for this great masterpiece.:)