Eternal Tears Of Sorrow - Saivon Lapsi review
|Band:||Eternal Tears Of Sorrow|
|Release date:||February 2013|
02. Dark Alliance
03. Legion Of Beast
05. Dance Of December
06. The Day
07. Sound Of Silence
08. Beneath The Frozen Leaves
09. Swan Saivo
10. Blood Stained Sea
11. Angelheart, Ravenheart (Act III: Saivon Lapsi)
12. New Dawn [Japanese bonus]
13. Another One Falls Asleep [2012 version] [Japanese bonus]
Let me tell you, timing is a bitch, and not just in the sense of trends deciding whether your album will be successful or not (are there any revivalist thrash bands that won't be met with "KILL IT, KILL IT WITH FIRE" in 2013?). What I want to address is the fact that a band's growth and path should match the growth and path of their fanbase for maximum artistic success. There are bands which evolve alongside their audience (hi, Enslaved), and then there are bands which, despite personnel and style changes, find that their audience has not only stayed the same average age, but also that their own children are rapidly approaching that age too (hi, Nightwish). The fans of Eternal Tears Of Sorrow are four years ahead of their favorite band right now.
If you heard Children Of The Dark Waters back in 2009, you know what to expect of Eternal Tears Of Sorrow in 2013. Their brand of dark, intensely symphonic melodic metal peppered by growls and melodeath tendencies presented a good fix to those who wanted some cinematic drama and flare in their metal but grew tired of Nightwish clones (stealing an expression of Susan's - "corsetcore"). All of the trademark late Eternal Tears Of Sorrow elements are present - the saga of "Angelheart, Ravenheart" sees its third act, songs do not drag in either tempo or length, symphonic pomp and relatively ballsy metal riffs are in perfect balance, with plenty of romantic touches on both sides, and both Altti Veteläinen's growls and Jarmo Kylmänen's clean vocals (Jarmo somehow reminds me of both Charon's Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto and Stratovarius's Timo Kotipelto) have kept their unique charm. A lot of it reminds me of the vigor I felt during a time when I listened to chiefly Finnish bands.
But it hasn't made me feel that vigor again. So, what's wrong here? After my first listen, I was inclined to call Saivon Lapsi a case of linear progression, but I am not sure whether the band has progressed enough to warrant it. It's been four years since their last album and not only the style has remained the same, so have most of the song structures. "Legion Of Beast" might be one of the better songs Children Of Bodom never wrote, but this resemblance proves to be slightly awkward during repeated listens. The "crying frozen tears by candlelight"-style piano intros work as well for "Swan Saivo" and "Sound Of Silence" as they have worked for a number of Eternal Tears Of Sorrow songs in the past decade, but why bother with those when you have superior songs such as "Autumn's Grief" or "Sea Of Whispers"? And while the dramatic shifts of mood caused by alternating cleans and growls have their charm, as a seasoned listener, I find them quite predictable.
While their passionate audience has spent the past four years listening to ambitious, acclaimed efforts in dark, gothic or extreme symphonic metal carried out by bands such as Septicflesh and Heavenwood, Eternal Tears Of Sorrow have remained in the same place. Saivon Lapsi is a relatively solid symphonic metal effort that's not void of hooks and good songs, but will doubtlessly be outshined by the end of the year.
||Written on 28.03.2013 by A part of the team since December 2011, writes about the progressive, the sad and the melodic. She's nice until she's not.|
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