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Too short for me! - 65%

baronsamedi, December 11th, 2007

When this album came out I was a bit disappointed, because it was too short. I think that this was actually While Heaven Wept's first full length, although Metal Archives lists Sorrow of the Angels as a full length, I think it was an EP, a pretty long one, that's for sure, bit still an EP. So, after years of existence finally a full length and it turns out to be just around 43 minutes long and that for an epic doom metal album.

Still i wouldn't have been that disappointed with its length as I have been had all the songs had been original, but instead we get two covers: Voice in the Wind, which I don't remember whose cover it was, and Epistle No. 81 - which is Swedish folk/traditional or choral I'm not sure, but made famous to the doom metal circles by Candlemass. The first one of the covers seems like a pop song, and is a bit unlike the rest of the WHW catalog except maybe for the track that opens this album, which is also a bit subtle and has roots in some prog/pop gone epic metal. And the second is a nice tribute to one of the band's main inspirations. It shows the ability of Tom Phillips to sing this quite difficult vocal lines. But a song is faster than the original so it seems that they are in a hurry.

Two more songs that bother me are rerecording of the Sorrow of the Angels which was on Lovesongs of the Forsaken EP - so nothing new there apart from the improved production, and the ending track From Empires To Oceans which is a synth meandering ambient which is a bit dull and boring, but of course not just as much the ending of Anathema's Serenades album.

So basically this album is only good for the two marvelous tracks: Of Empires Forlorn, and Soulsadness which are absolutely what I expect of this band, long, epic, emotional, heavy and diverse songs. And the opener is pretty good, but not as good as these two tracks.

What is very original in this album are the synths that seem very warm and used in a way more connected with pop/prog rock than metal. The production is very clean and full, but I don't like that they used auto tuning machine on Tom's vocals (although I can't be quite sure on this) which made the album a bit stiff.

Overall, decent one, but I expected a lot more. If there were just two more original songs with the quality of Of Empires Forlorn, and Soulsadness it would have made such a big difference. I'm sure next WHW will be better, just how long will we have to wait for it.