Rating:
8.0
Vesperian Sorrow - Stormwinds Of Ages
24 April 2012


01. Sanguis Vitam Est
02. Stormwinds Of Ages
03. An Empire To Mourn
04. Casting Dawn Into A Shadow
05. Crown Of Glass
06. Legacies Befallen
07. Eye Of The Clock Tower
08. Oracle From The Ashes
09. Relics Of The Impure
10. Death She Cried
11. Of Opiates And Accolades


Vesperian Sorrow formed over a decade ago, evolving from a more traditional black metal band to that of a symphonic-driven outfit. When tags like that are thrown around, one immediately thinks Dimmu Borgir; and in this instance, the comparison isn't too far off.

Having taken their time to develop into what they are today, Vesperian Sorrow have been able to adopt their own signature style within a sub-genre that doesn't make it easy on musicians to extend beyond the confines of its relatively limited boundaries. Either you focus too much on the black metal aspect and lose sight of the symphonic influences, or stray too far into the symphonic side and forget about the black metal roots. Rest assured, there is a perfect balance on Stormwinds Of Ages, the band's fourth full-length release.

Now, getting back to the Norwegians that helped pioneer this little sub-genre. Think Enthrone Darkness Triumphant infused with Dark Lunacy's The Diarist. Using that melodic death/symphonic black metal template, these guys have presented some truly dynamic songs. They're filled with riff-oriented thrashing madness that instills an "epic" feel, a broad range in extreme vocal styles (not to mention some pseudo-operatic female vocals), and varied drumming (from the typical blastfest of your average black metal band to bombastic beats). Also, it's nice to finally hear a keyboardist who doesn't feel the need to dominate the sound, but contribute to it.

The songs seem to change mood as the album progresses. At times the aggression seems to reach out and take hold of the listener, while the symphonic elements help ease that anger. This game of cat and mouse extends well into the latter portions of the album, where songs like "Death She Cried" take a much more majestic approach. Vesperian Sorrow are careful not to venture into ethereal territory, allowing their melodies to take a walk without getting lost.

Perhaps what's most impressive about this release is the overall sound that comes together so well. Surprisingly, that can be attributed to the band members themselves. The entire album was recorded, mixed, and mastered without the help of any Rick Rubins or Nuclear Blasts - a true testament to the band's artistic integrity and determination.

If you've been doubting the quality of symphonic black metal as of late, let Vesperian Sorrow restore your faith with this injection. It'll only sting a little.

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


 



Written on 06.12.2011 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
More reviews by Troy Killjoy ››



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Unhealer - 06.12.2011 at 20:17  
Lately I have been reluctant to check any bands labeled as symphonic black metal...
But I'll follow your lead Joy Killtroy, the review sounds convincing. EDT + The Diarist sounds like something worth checking
Troy Killjoy - 06.12.2011 at 20:19  
Written by Unhealer on 06.12.2011 at 20:17
Lately I have been reluctant to check any bands labeled as symphonic black metal...
But I'll follow your lead Joy Killtroy, the review sounds convincing. EDT + The Diarist sounds like something worth checking

Trust me, I've been in the same boat - almost completely avoiding symph black for a year now. This is the first album I've come across from the genre in a long time that's been worth saying anything good about.

Hopefully they get picked up by a label - or at least hopefully they continue to release new material.
ImperialTroll - 06.12.2011 at 21:17  
I have been waiting for this album since 2007. I hope it doesn't disappoint me!
MétalNoir - 07.12.2011 at 00:45  
A non-sardonic review by Troy? O_o
Troy Killjoy - 07.12.2011 at 00:47  
Written by MétalNoir on 07.12.2011 at 00:45
A non-sardonic review by Troy? O_o

I'm not always sardonic, but when I am, it's called for.
MétalNoir - 07.12.2011 at 03:42  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 07.12.2011 at 00:47

Written by MétalNoir on 07.12.2011 at 00:45
A non-sardonic review by Troy? O_o

I'm not always sardonic, but when I am, it's called for.

That's why you caught me off-guard lol
psykometal - 07.12.2011 at 05:11  
This album hasn't even been released yet to my knowledge...wtf is going on here?! I'm with ImpTroll, I too have been waiting several years for these guys to release new material. I live in the same state as these guys but unfortunately they have not played any shows outside of their hometown for the last few years. And these dudes are definitely the real deal when it comes to writing awesome symphonic/melodic black metal. They've been trying to get signed for years, there was talk for a while there if they were even going to continue on or not because they haven't been able to attract any label attention which is really sad and ridiculous given how amazing these guys are. As noted by Troy they do all their own recording, mixing, amstering and production; most (if not all of it) is done by their drummer Kristoph. In fact Kristoph also produced an album for another symph black metal band from Pennsylvania called Forever Mourning.
ß - 07.12.2011 at 05:38  
Symphonic Black Metal as it should be.
Troy Killjoy - 07.12.2011 at 05:40  
Written by psykometal on 07.12.2011 at 05:11
This album hasn't even been released yet to my knowledge...wtf is going on here?!

I've been in talks with Will and he said the album has been ready to release for a while now, but there just hasn't been any label support (until recently from Sonic Blast Media). He said they might officially release it before the end of the year but there's a chance this will push over into 2012. At that point the best I could do was wish him and the band the best of luck.
psykometal - 07.12.2011 at 05:48  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 07.12.2011 at 05:40

the album has been ready to release for a while now, but there just hasn't been any label support

Yea I knew this was why they haven't released it yet but I hadn't seen anything about them being in talks with a label (granted I haven't checked on them lately) so that's really awesome to see that they're talking with a label finally. I always felt they belonged on Candlelight or Regain (until Regain's more recent activities of messing around their signed bands)...
NocturnalStalker - 07.12.2011 at 12:56  
Sympho black metal album Troy recommends? I'm gonna check it out for sure.
Troy Killjoy - 07.12.2011 at 20:36  
Written by NocturnalStalker on 07.12.2011 at 12:56
Sympho black metal album Troy recommends? I'm gonna check it out for sure.

Indeed, it's not very often I'd tell people to listen to something like this... but this is the exception.
Slinky666 - 08.12.2011 at 04:37  
They are Borgir-some... I will give them more time to decide what they want to be.
Troy Killjoy - 08.12.2011 at 04:39  
Written by Guest on 08.12.2011 at 04:37
They are Borgir-some... I will give them more time to decide what they want to be.

They don't want to be a Borgir clone - the reference was only to give the reader an idea of what brand of symphonic black metal they play (the good kind).
metaleaterr - 12.12.2011 at 05:29  
Just listened to a couple of songs. They sound really epic. Great review! Really does justice to a good album by a good band.
garmling - 12.12.2011 at 21:43  
Oh well, I really hoped this will satisfy my thirst for some nice new sympho BM, but ended disappointed...it has potential but it's not my cup of tea....too melodic for my taste, so...back to my favorites Anorexia Nervosa, old Emperor and old Cradle of Filth...
Silver Soul - 05.01.2012 at 21:32  
I'm definitely getting this at first opportunity. Based on the two albums that I already have, this one should be pretty damn good.

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