Trees Of Eternity - Hour Of The Nightingale review



Reviewer:
10

391 users:
8.76
Band: Trees Of Eternity
Album: Hour Of The Nightingale
Release date: November 2016


01. My Requiem
02. Eye Of Night
03. Condemned To Silence [feat. Mick Moss]
04. A Million Tears
05. Hour Of The Nightingale
06. The Passage
07. Broken Mirror
08. Black Ocean
09. Sinking Ships
10. Gallows Bird [feat. Nick Holmes]


Few bands have left me speechless with their music, even fewer I would ever call perfect, and fewer still where tragedy has struck a promising band such that the music is too much to get through without thinking about the backstory of the band's short lifespan. Trees Of Eternity was certainly something special.

This is probably one of the hardest reviews I ever had to write and I'm surprised nobody has written a review about it.

Trees Of Eternity was a supergroup that contained members of Swallow The Sun, Wintersun, and October Tide. This was meant to be the band in which singer Aleah Standbridge got her big break after collaborating with the likes of Swallow The Sun and Amorphis. Unfortunately, Aleah would never see the release of the group's only album, as she passed away from cancer seven months before this album was released. Even though this is an album that is not at the very top of my all-time favorite gothic metal albums, everything about Hour Of The Nightingale is perfect and I rarely say that about any album. Even with some of my favorite albums of all time, I can point out flaws and songs that I can occasionally skip. Not this album; every song was emotionally powerful and to this day I consider this as the single greatest metal album of the 2010s, and I'm not saying that due to the tragic circumstances of the band.

The music of Hour Of The Nightingale is a tearjerker. The majority of the music is downbeat but incredibly atmospheric; I do get The 3rd And The Mortal vibes whenever I listen to this album: very soothing, but more depressing, especially with the accompaniment of Aleah. However, it does very little to sound like the aforementioned band and does something incredibly different. This was more torturous with a soothing tone, two moods that normally don't go well together. Yet, that's exactly what I get when I listen to the music. It crosses the line between doom and gothic phenomenally, having that crushing defeatist sound with depressing melodies thanks to the guitars and vocals. The structure of the guitars has me gripped and sucked down into darkness, and it's something I expect to feel when I listen to something depressing. That feeling is also felt in the dynamics, where it goes from soft to a loud volume so that it makes it more emotional to listen to. "Black Ocean" is a great example of such characteristics. The music gave me chills, and it will never let up, but that doesn't mean it's not beautiful, because the music is soothing and beautiful.

Obviously, the best thing about Hour Of The Nightingale is Aleah's vocal performance. Her voice is so breathy, gentle and ominous that it gave the chills. Her voice is perfectly in unison with the already depressing music. One can argue that it's just one of those cliches that are often seen (even needed) in gothic metal, but everything about Aleah's voice was something special. That voice is depressing without sounding too happy, too whiny, or too cheesy, it was something that left me empowered. It was the sound of fragility combined with the melodic key changes that made Aleah so special, and the very thought that there won't be any more music coming from this band makes this album harder to get through without shedding a tear.

(Side Note: Extra bonus points for bringing Paradise Lost's Nick Holmes to do the closing song of the album.)

That feeling of getting through this album without shedding a tear also carries over to the lyrics. Not only are these lyrics well-written and possessing unique elegance, but some of them foreshadow the tragedy that would come for Aleah. The very thought of reading through the lyrics of say "My Requiem", "A Million Tears", or "Condemned To Silence" still gives me chills without even thinking about what has happened. A lot of these lyrics are thought-provoking and dark, going deeper into sadness and even grief.

Hour Of The Nightingale is the definitive album of a promising career cut too short due to tragedy. I often compare this band with Woods Of Ypres, in that they are both bands that released something so phenomenal when at the time their key member had already passed away. This album deserves to be exposed and brought to the attention of many who are looking for the most artistic and depressing albums in gothic doom. This album will always be my number one album of the decade, and it's incredibly sad. Had Trees Of Eternity lived for another five years they could have been the biggest flag bearer for the future of gothic metal. The biggest tragedy about this album is how overshadowed it became by a number of big-name releases from the year it came out, only for it to fall into obscurity from even the most underground of metal media outlets. One thing's for sure, Hour Of The Nightingale is forever and that's all that matters.

Rest in Peace, Aleah Stanbridge
"Grief will wash those who caress"

Written by Gothic Metalhead | 02.02.2021


 


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments

Comments: 4   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 32 users
02.02.2021 - 14:11
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Doom is lno8whit its poetic lyrics, I like those, but imagine this album would be written in mid 90s
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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02.02.2021 - 18:51
Gothic Metalhead
Pro Introvert
Written by Bad English on 02.02.2021 at 14:11

Doom is lno8whit its poetic lyrics, I like those, but imagine this album would be written in mid 90s


It would have been ahead of it's contemporaries. Either way still amazing stuff.
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20.02.2021 - 02:48
Nejde
Nice review. Feels like you caught the essence of the album. Only thing I disagree with is calling it depressing. I don't think that the music nor the lyrics are depressing. The words that comes to mind is sorrowful (and/or melancholic) and haunting. I totally agree though that this certainly is one of the greatest albums of the 2010's.
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"When you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It's only painful for others. The same applies when you are stupid." - Ricky Gervais
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20.02.2021 - 05:13
Gothic Metalhead
Pro Introvert
Written by Nejde on 20.02.2021 at 02:48

Nice review. Feels like you caught the essence of the album. Only thing I disagree with is calling it depressing. I don't think that the music nor the lyrics are depressing. The words that comes to mind is sorrowful (and/or melancholic) and haunting. I totally agree though that this certainly is one of the greatest albums of the 2010's.


I appreciate your opinion. I definitely would have used the words sorrowful and haunting
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