Eternal Tears of Sorrow
Before the Bleeding Sun


3.5
great

Review

by Jorn van Schaïk USER (172 Reviews)
October 12th, 2007 | 30 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A great well-executed dose of melodic/symphonic death metal.

Metal is one of those subgenres that likes clone bands. Once we had Iron Maiden, then half the metal fans wanted to sound like Iron Maiden. Once we had Slayer, then every thrash band wanted to sound like Slayer. And we have melodic death metal, where every band wants to sound like In Flames or At The Gates. How many bands haven't tried to copy this formula of guitar shredding, Maiden-esque and bellowed throaty vocals?

And a lot of them seem to come from Finland. Eternal Tears of Sorrow have been around for a while, mind, but they kind of disappeared off the face of the earth after 2001's A Virgin And A Whore. EToS, too, are -gasp- a melodic death metal band from Finland. To put your metal clone gag into an even bigger reflex, there are power metal influences here (Finns like to combine power and death for some reason), with backing vocals being contributed by Sonata Arctica's Tony Kakko and Nightwish/Tarot's Marco Hietala. This should be a recipe for a boring, repetitive album, shouldn't it?

Well, marvellously enough, EToS stand just far enough from the pack to be able to have a nicely discernable sound. Sure, the vocals are the standard grunty rasp, very reminiscent of Ensiferum and Finntroll. Sure, the drummer is really fond of his blast beats, which abound far and free on the album. Sure, the riffs sound like the generic chug thing all death metal bands seem to do these days. And still, there's something that captivates and enthralls the listener. Maybe it's the overly cheesy yet supremely melodic keyboard plonking the band uses over all the violent drums and speedy guitar riffing. Maybe it's the clean vocal choirs on the masterful closer "Angelheart, Ravenheart." Or maybe it's the all out thrashing and pounding opener "Sweet Lilith of My Dreams", that absolutely steals the show.

It's that symphonic element, indeed, that propels the band above all their peers on this album. Red Dawn Rising has some really cool choir effects, combined with a nice clean/dirty vocal interplay, and the keyboards adding a nice melodic touch to the song. Opener Sweet Lilith Of My Dreams manages to make grunted vocal lines actually sound catchy, with the added high-tempo smashing beat swivelling around it to punish your ears. And surprisingly, the Japanese-titled Sakura No Rei (which serves as an introduction to Sinister Rain), slows down the tempo to actually let the melodic side of the band enhance the album.

The songwriting variety is still seemingly cut a little short, though. The band really relies on the symphonic death metal formula, and the band has two speeds: midtempo and fast. They tend to mix those dynamics better than most bands do, leaving room for breath sometimes and other times charging up the speedometer again, but the formula may become tiring at the end of the album. Luckily the album has a magnificent closer, Angelheart, Ravenheart, which integrates some of the best clean vocal choirs I've heard in a good while, combines it with a nice melody hook, and doesn't manage to bore surprisingly for its runtime (which comes close to 9 minutes.)

Yes, it's a stereotypical slab of metal. Yes, this album is probably not going to be on the best-of album lists at the end of the decade or millenium. It's simply a very enjoyable slab of music for what it is, and it's bound to satisfy your every daily need for quite a while. Perhaps not quite mastery of the style, but just an extremely good and catchy execution. Strongly recommended for fans of the style.



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user ratings (80)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
KritikalMotion
October 12th 2007


2261 Comments


i see "Eternal Tears of Sorrow Before the Bleeding Sun" and i want to actually cry

but yeah as usual a standard quality review from you.



Digging: Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World

Crimson
October 12th 2007


1935 Comments


I've been recommended these guys before, maybe I should check them out.
Good review.

BallsToTheWall
October 12th 2007


44387 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Another good review. Pretty good cd.

Digging: Pharmakon - Abandon

ZapatoDiablo
October 12th 2007


167 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review - I agree with the rating. This is a highly enjoyable listen for me every once in a while, Sinister Rain I would have to say is my favorite. This Message Edited On 10.12.07

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
October 12th 2007


3768 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've always refrained form writing anything about these guys because all their albums and songs sound exactly the same, which i don't mind because they start off from a good template in the first place. Still, music here is still fun to listen to, and nice to finally see a good review of EToS stuff as well.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Confessed2005
October 12th 2007


3314 Comments


^^^ Nice to see you're digging Jane Doe.

Shattered_Future
October 12th 2007


1540 Comments


Never really liked this band. They always seemed boring to me. Good review though.

BallsToTheWall
October 12th 2007


44387 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Trail of Tears is a good band that should be ckecked out. I dont know what's with the tear bit.

Zoo
October 12th 2007


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review. This is a pretty good album, but it's starting to get a little old for me. So my rating may decrease to a 3.5 in time, as well. Lost Rune of Thunder is my favorite track.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 12th 2007


16395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree with everything.


Good review.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

TheHamburgerman
November 9th 2007


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Angelheart is such a boring track. 4 minutes too long...

Poet
December 18th 2007


5933 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Angelheart is such an awesome track. Backing vocals by Marco make it even better :D

Two-Headed Boy
March 6th 2008


4527 Comments


This album is quite good, but yeah it gets boring kinda fast.

Evolution666
May 3rd 2008


19 Comments


Good the first time around, then they just became a "mood band" for me. Good review.

Whispered4tw
September 23rd 2008


616 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is quite an incredible album, especially ''Upon the Moors'' and THE definition of epic music ''Angelheart, Ravenheart''

Can't wait for their 6th album, personally, I hope it'll be a mix between CB and this one, with a little bit of mellow from AVAAW

BallsToTheWall
October 23rd 2008


44387 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I don't really see anything death metal about these guys, or good.

Altmer
October 27th 2008


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's good, and it's death metal, so that either makes me weird or you wrong. Despite my self-knowledge I am inclined to the latter.

BallsToTheWall
October 27th 2008


44387 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is purple death metal at it's finest if it is even death metal. It sounds like crappy, overproduced melodic metal for the Nightwish generation. When did death metal have power metal singing or overly abundant synthesizers and piano?

Bleak123
October 27th 2008


1902 Comments


EToS are more in the vein of a band like Raintime; power metal with melodic death influences or vice versa.

BallsToTheWall
October 27th 2008


44387 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Regardless of tagging, these guys are not afraid to sport the purple on a regular basis. I'll take For My Pain because Sea Of Emotions is a damn good song.



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