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Why Do You Do This To Me? - 95%

FOrbIDen, July 11th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2000, CD, Dark Symphonies

I became aware of American symphonic metal act Rain Fell Within years after their demise, in one of those "best gothic metal bands" videos that have since gone out of vogue on YouTube (I was young and new to the genre, don't judge me!). Since then, I've had a very long, sparse, up and down relationship with the band's music. I had gone from mildly intrigued, to pleased, to bored and confused; rinse and repeat for seven-odd years until early last year when I gave the band's sophomore album Refuge another go. This time around, I really enjoyed what I heard, and I went back to listen to their debut Believe.

In 2000, the year of Within Temptation's Mother Earth, After Forever's Prison of Desire, and Nightwish's Wishmaster, Rain Fell Within played an operatic style of atmospheric metal, that calls on, and evokes the sound that had been cultivated through the late nineties by these European bands, while also adding some American sensibilities. It sounds dark and ancient without necessarily being gothic or doomy, and it doesn't carry the same kind of folk background that some of those other bands did. However, much like those other bands, there is nothing subtle about this Rain Fell Within, musically, lyrically, vocally, aesthetically; it's big, dramatic, indulgent, lush, and a whole lot of other adjectives that would describe it as something that is right up my alley. But most importantly, it is strong, and features some beautiful (albeit, a tad unrefined) songwriting.

The songwriting is also extremely consistent with its tone, and has a fairytale or dreamlike quality -- which is reflected in the artwork as well, the cover depicts vocalist Dawn Desiree as a fairy. The band plays very melodically, which lends itself perfectly to the way that the piano and keyboards weave themselves into the music. This approach not only highlights every member, but also builds a wall of atmosphere that washes over the listener. The structure of the album is quite simple, and the ordering showcases how well rounded Believe truly is. Songs like "A False Reality" and the title track are the aggressive and relentless songs that up the intensity, whereas the melancholic and more dirge-like "Sorrow Becomes Me", and "Alone" are spliced in between. The album then comes to an end on an intimate note, with the ballad "The Sun In My Wound".

Now, this is where I'm going to get into the "perceived flaws", the aspects of the music that for one reason or another, could potentially make people be adverse to this album. For one, vocalist Dawn Desiree's operatic wailing might not sit well with some people. Though she has a great range, her voice can be shapeless and blunt, and her backing vocals can be poorly integrated at times -- despite having much in common with her European contemporaries such as Sharon den Adel and Tarja Turunen, she doesn't sound as tight or refined. Personally, I have come to really enjoy her timbre. Another aspect is the length of the music. Excluding the closing track, every song is a multi-movement, eight to nine minute outing that never drags, except for a small section during the fourth track "Sorrow Becomes Me", where Dawn delivers the same whispered "talk down" twice. Once was enough. But I think the fact that Believe is only five tracks, and comes in to be less than forty minutes long, definitely makes it more palatable for the uninitiated.

Being a female fronted symphonic metal band in the United States in the late 90s and early 2000s definitely didn't garner this band wide recognition, even though they definitely deserved it. Unfortunately they broke up before the style could really pick up over here, which is a shame -- they were before their time -- but luckily their music is still around. I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the style, and maybe wants some extra hipster points in the world of female fronted gothic/symphonic metal.

Solid. Nothing more, nothing less. - 65%

MrMatt, February 25th, 2008

This album is what some would consider the prime and “be all and end all” of the gothic metal genre, and some would just outcast the band as “just another Theatre of Tragedy” clone. While Rain Fell Within are certainly a promising band, they are nowhere near being truly amazing.

When the “Believe” kicks off, it begins with a subtle and clean guitar and keyboard introduction before breaking into extremely melodic guitar riffs. The album consists of the most melodic riffs I’ve ever heard used in gothic metal. The band their doom influence under the melodies, which is a shame. Had the doom metal influence not be so layered under the melodies, they’re sound would be much better, and more influential. However, despite the doom influence being buried, the melodies are excellent. In fact, I can’t say I’ve heard any melodies that are remotely common except with the possibility of Cradle of Filth on “Dusk and Her Embrace”. However, with every good thing comes a really negative aspect.

The vocals on this album are pitiful. While the vocalist clearly knows how to sing well, her voice does not suit the music present here. Her operatic vocals kill about half of the melodic passages on the album (where she is actually singing). The bass can’t usually be heard buried under her voice. During the instrumental parts, it can be heard but only faintly. During the clean guitar passages I couldn’t help but think of Fields of the Nephilim. The band has a very strong similarity with them in terms of using passages to their advantage to create atmosphere. While the album might be solid, the atmosphere is lacking. I can’t help but think that Rain Fell Within have so much wasted potential trying to make everything work together and using a nice touch of keyboards to make their sound more prominent. However, what happens is that they destroy it with the vocals.

The album consistency is pretty iffy. The clean parts during their songs are incredible, and “Sorrow Becomes Me” and “A False Reality” are pretty damn good gothic metal tracks. The other three songs really pale in comparison to those, and almost make the rest of the album seem like a joke in a sense. The vocalist is the one problem with the music, and I finish this review with these last words:

This would easily appeal to Nightwish, Epic(r)a(p) and Within Temptation listeners. Just because the band isn’t mainstream doesn’t mean they’re amazing.

Believe Me... - 90%

ElvenKing, September 16th, 2004

Rain fell Within hails from United States, they play a very nice Gothy Doom Metal. The debut album "Believe" shows that Rain Fell Within was a very promissing band, "was" because after the release of the second album(Refuge) the band broke up, it's sad, but they left a good legacy to fans of Gothy Doom Metal with female vocals.

The vocals of Dawn Desiree are very powerful and intense, contrasting with complex guitar and classical keyboard harmonies. The Bass work need to be mentioned, because give the support to the melodies, and few parts could be found fretless Bass that added to much the album dark atmosphere. Only 5 tracks, but with pretty long. The Brazilian guys(like me) have gained an gift from Hellion Records, a good bonus track named "The Only One". The bonus song starts with a Goth Rock Riff, but soon return to Dark feelings that overflow from the Album.

My prefered track is the first one "A False Reality" a powerful overture track, "Alone" begins more slow, but is only and deep dark begining for a Majestic Music...
"Believe" is a perfect blend of gloomy atmospheres and complex melodies, a very nice debut. Recommended.