While Heaven Wept

Fear of Infinity

Written by: EW on 20/06/2011 21:04:12

Upon first listen I felt I had severely underestimated the timespan it had been since my last endeavours in listening to While Heaven Wept, when the first two tracks appear to be fast and verging on power metal! For a band I previously regarded as one of the most epic of all of doom this came as a shock, but after the quick one-two of "Hour of Reprisal" and "Destroyer of Solace" normal service appears to be resumed when "Obsessions Now Effigies" crawls into more conventional WHW speed, not to reappear for the duration of this strangely configured, confused and oddly short album.

Even now that I'm aware WHW are not the epic doomsters of old and today claim as much an 'epic metal' tag as anything else, there is still an odd quality to what is only their fourth album in a 20-year existence. Verging from a Candlemass-meets-Rhapsody-Of-Fire style in the earlier tracks, to the fluff of the middling "Obsessions…" and "Unplenitude", is it "To Grieve Forever" and "Saturn And Sacrifice" which represent the obvious doom but they both finish before giving all that they can, leaving only 11-minute closer "Finality" to play it's full set before disappearing into the night.

On vocals Rain Irving does not hold back, showcasing the kind of energy in his delivery that could make even the dullest of doom come alive in an explosion of colour. His operatic tendencies link in nicely with many of the climaxes of the music (especially in "Finality") but in those moments does it appear that the very essence of WHW's epically sculptured music sounds cheesy and forced. Just listen to "Unplenitude" and argue it does not sound impatient; an odd fact for a band who've recorded so rarely in the past.

It seems like the desire to spread their wings has flown While Heaven Wept into territories they were not ready for. If they wanted grandiose epic (ala Ereb Altor) the pace would need to be slowed, or for the truly epic the song structures would require lengthening and better quality control (ala Solitude Aeturnus). As it is, we're left with an album that among it's brighter moments of passion and charisma falls flat when trying to achieve it's main ambitions, a touch disappointing for a band with better work behind them.


Download: Hour of Reprisal, To Grieve Forever
For The Fans Of: Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Rhapsody Of Fire
Listen: Myspace

Rerelease date 22.04.2011
Nuclear Blast

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