Rating:
8.0
Amber Tears - Key To December
15 December 2010


01. Голос пустой Зимы (Voice of Hollow Winter)
02. Бесконечность серых дней (Gray Days Eternity)
03. От Солнца прочь (Away from the Sun)
04. За край Небес (Beyond the Edge of Skies)
05. Когда растает снег (When Snow Will Melt Away)
06. Тихим ручьем (Like a Silent Stream)
07. Печаль серых холмов (Gray Hill's Sadness)
08. Сквозь снега (Through the Snows)


Hailing from Russia, Amber Tears have dubbed their style of music "Pagan Doom." Not entirely sure what is so Pagan about it, but hey, I'm all for "People Against Goodness And Normalcy." They make the news more exciting.

So initially I was perhaps partially put-off... the combo of band name, cover art, and the Keys To December album title made me a bit skeptical before I spun (ran?) my copy. No need to worry on my part... after an atmospheric start featuring a wind-swept field with bird calls gave way and crushing doom ensues, it was an enjoyable 40 minute journey.

Amber Tears play a slow, powerful death-doom with a nice mix of spoken and harshly throated vocals, with the lyrics being in Russian. They also incorporate other various elements - acoustic interludes, backing keyboards, backing female oohs-n-ahs vocals to further enhance the melancholy.

The whole thing just comes together really well. The production values are fantastic... the vocals, when roared, are loud. The spoken bits carry over the music. The guitars and drums sound powerful, the bass is audible without having to strain an ear to hear. The songs are well crafted, with occasional changes and interludes to combat monotony.

The guitarist also has some chops, which he exhibits from time-to-time, but is clever enough to show restraint. Instead of saying, "look at me, aren't I awesome!?" he plays to the music, capturing and furthering the emotion within his leads. Also, I'm not sure what kind of effects pedals he employs, but I found it pretty cool how some of the lead melodies had a tone that almost captured the sound of bagpipes. Sounds like I'm crazy, but go ahead, listen to the leads in "Ot Solnca Proch'" now that I've planted that little seed in your golova... you'll hear it too.

Amber Tears have managed to make some great, powerful, evocative music definitely worth checking out whether you are a card-carrying member of "Marcel's Kool Kids Doom Klvb" or even just have a passing interest in the genre.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 08.03.2011 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››



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Mikyz - 08.03.2011 at 22:06  
I've checked one of their songs earlier this week, I forgot which one but it was pretty solid, I'll make a note to myself as to check the whole release when I have the time. Thanks for the review.
Mr. Doctor - 08.03.2011 at 22:12  
""Marcel's Kool Kids Doom Klvb".... LOL!

Gotta check it out asap.
Marcel Hubregtse - 08.03.2011 at 22:40  
Btw who are card-carrying members of "Marcel's Kool Kids Doom Klvb"? i don't even have a card myself
but everyone with ears on their head can become member of the doom klvb as long as they enjoy doom
Mikyz - 08.03.2011 at 23:09  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 08.03.2011 at 22:40

Btw who are card-carrying members of "Marcel's Kool Kids Doom Klvb"? i don't even have a card myself
but everyone with ears on their head can become member of the doom klvb as long as they enjoy doom


Yes but "Marcel's Kool Kids Doom Klvb" shouldn't consider people who dislike doom to have ears, am I right?
Fat & Sassy! - 08.03.2011 at 23:27  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 08.03.2011 at 22:40

Btw who are card-carrying members of "Marcel's Kool Kids Doom Klvb"? i don't even have a card myself


Why, Marcel's Kool Kids Doom Klvb has no members at all! It's much more gloomy and depressive that way!
Marcel Hubregtse - 08.03.2011 at 23:35  
Written by Mikyz on 08.03.2011 at 23:09

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 08.03.2011 at 22:40

Btw who are card-carrying members of "Marcel's Kool Kids Doom Klvb"? i don't even have a card myself
but everyone with ears on their head can become member of the doom klvb as long as they enjoy doom


Yes but "Marcel's Kool Kids Doom Klvb" shouldn't consider people who dislike doom to have ears, am I right?


oh they do have ears but those just aren't functioning at all
Bloody Rain - 09.03.2011 at 01:01  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 08.03.2011 at 22:40

Btw who are card-carrying members of "Marcel's Kool Kids Doom Klvb"? i don't even have a card myself
but everyone with ears on their head can become member of the doom klvb as long as they enjoy doom


Well Marcel you can sign me up.

I ordered this album a little while ago and it's still not here and I'm getting a little antsy because I want it! The few songs I heard on their My Space sounded really good. BTW, has anyone noticed a good number of really good doom metal bands coming out of Russia as of late? Maybe it's just me...
Marcel Hubregtse - 09.03.2011 at 01:05  
Written by Bloody Rain on 09.03.2011 at 01:01

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 08.03.2011 at 22:40

Btw who are card-carrying members of "Marcel's Kool Kids Doom Klvb"? i don't even have a card myself
but everyone with ears on their head can become member of the doom klvb as long as they enjoy doom


Well Marcel you can sign me up.

I ordered this album a little while ago and it's still not here and I'm getting a little antsy because I want it! The few songs I heard on their My Space sounded really good. BTW, has anyone noticed a good number of really good doom metal bands coming out of Russia as of late? Maybe it's just me...


where did you order it from? directly from Solitude Productions? if so... it can take up to more than four weeks before it reaches you. post can take a very long time coming in from Russia.
BitterCOld - 09.03.2011 at 01:12  
Written by Bloody Rain on 09.03.2011 at 01:01

Well Marcel you can sign me up.

I ordered this album a little while ago and it's still not here and I'm getting a little antsy because I want it! The few songs I heard on their My Space sounded really good. BTW, has anyone noticed a good number of really good doom metal bands coming out of Russia as of late? Maybe it's just me...


considering Solitude Productions has sent me a stack of primarily Russian music - mostly doom with some sludge or post stuff as well on sub-label BadMoodMan - to check out, it's not lost on me. This and Who Dies In Siberian Slush were both really good, and I have about three more pure doom acts to check out... not sure if the rest are Russian yet, too busy trying to wrap my head around all the awesome music.

incidentally, the package took forever to get from Russia to Arizona, USA... like two months or so, but it arrived and wrapped so tightly the package might very well have survived a nuclear holocaust. I hope you get yours soon... it was surprisingly good.
Bloody Rain - 09.03.2011 at 01:18  
I ordered it directly from Solitude Productions, that and a bunch of other albums. Last time I placed an order it only took two weeks. I guess I just got lucky then.
Merchant of Doom - 09.03.2011 at 13:03  
Great album, highly recommended!
annodomini - 09.03.2011 at 19:31  
Revelations of Renounced was better IMO, though Key To December is a bit different. When debut had lots of "Bagpipish" guitar leads and was based on catchy (in doom-metal way) melodies, this one is more about atmosphere, but after having lost a hope of hearing something new by AMber Tears ever, this album was a jewel for me. Agree on rating.
Dani5050 - 10.03.2011 at 21:42  
I love this album, very good review
!J.O.O.E.! - 11.03.2011 at 12:39  
Nice record. Something I've heard many times before but I'm enjoying it nonetheless.
Pétur - 12.03.2011 at 00:07  
Heard a sample of it on youtube, quite like it. Will need to check it out in it's entirety soon.
Maxx666 - 13.03.2011 at 08:29  
Nice album actually, the atmosphere's superb so is the musicianship 9/10
John_neg - 21.03.2011 at 09:11  
Quote:

where did you order it from? directly from Solitude Productions? if so... it can take up to more than four weeks before it reaches you. post can take a very long time coming in from Russia.


Delays usually provided by customs not by post
This year Amber Tears first album re-issue is scheduled with live show as a bonus

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