Cranes
Wings of Joy


4.5
superb

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
October 17th, 2008 | 86 replies


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This album scared me when I was young and it's still pretty damn creepy these days.

Looking back it seems like the best times I had listening to music were when I was a kid and just discovering it. Back then every album had the potential to show me something I had never experienced before and I looked forward to it. I’ll always remember Persistence of Time by Anthrax as my introduction to speed, aggression and awesome solos and I’ll remember Operation: Mindcrime by Queensryche as the first album to ever give me chills. I’ll also always remember the first album that ever scared the crap out of me to the point that I couldn’t listen to it alone or in the dark. The album that scarred my little child psyche was none other than Wings of Joy by Cranes. By the time I came across this album I had already discovered thrash, death metal and industrial but none of them gave me the feeling of dread like this album did. Even to this day there is creepiness to this album that I haven’t really found anywhere else.

A large part of the feeling I got came from the vocals of Alison Shaw. It’s no stretch to say that if one of those little girls from the Japanese horror movies was ever to sing it would sound like Alison. Her vocals are high and childlike, sounding like an undead 12 year old girl; seriously. I remember the first time I heard the opening song, “Watersong”, with its plucked violin melody and what sounded like an oboe. The music itself already sounded eerie enough, but when the soft crooning of Alison came in singing a melody reminiscent of a demented schoolyard nursery rhyme I remember having to flip on the lights. This atmosphere that I can only describe as “haunted house-like” permeates through out this entire album. If you’ve ever been alone in a room and had a feeling of being watched, that is the type of feeling this album gave me back in the day and it still gets pretty close these days.

Songs such as “Living and Breathing” and “Starblood” only intensify this uneasy feeling. These songs, again, are built around the ghostly vocals of Alison Shaw but the music goes farther by adding white noise, percussion, guitars and moody piano passages. Musically, songs like the two I mentioned before almost come off as condensed precursors of what post-metal would become. They’re dark and moody with occasional distorted outbursts that seemingly come from nowhere complete with mammoth percussion. Even the single, “Tomorrow’s Tears”, comes off as gloomy and twisted despite its catchy chorus and pretty piano melody; mainly due to the haunting vocals of Alison. After the slight reprieve that the single allows, the album returns to the strange, haunting feeling it had before and never lets up again.

If the undead little girls of Japanese horror movies give you the creeps then this is the soundtrack to your fear. The vocals of Alison Shaw are some of the eeriest I’ve ever heard. Her thin, lispy delivery combined with the childlike sound of her voice simply saturates the mood in disturbing darkness and the musical accompaniment only adds to that feeling. If ever there was an album that fit the month of October it is this one. It is gloomy, haunting and almost sinister in its atmosphere despite being made up almost entirely of piano and synth melodies. Most people will already be too jaded for this album to actually scare them but it still might be able to give them an uneasy feeling that most music probably hadn’t been able to in a long time.



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user ratings (28)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
October 17th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

None of their other albums hit this level of creepiness. So if anyone searches for them you need to really find a song from this album.

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

Bleak123
October 17th 2008


1902 Comments


album sounds pretty fucked. i may look into it. this is probably a download before buy album for me, just in case i dont like it. interesting review man.

Willie
Moderator
October 17th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You should look into it, it's really good. Like I said though, the atmosphere isn't like Ax Murderer scary... it's more like if you were sitting in your room alone and heard a little kid giggle or something but no one is there.

Bleak123
October 17th 2008


1902 Comments


Alright, I'll have a quick look on the torrent sites now. And little kid giggling scary is scarier than axe murder gore scary. Films wise anyway. Real life I've never had the pleasure of experiencing either.

edit: damn, this is like one of the only albums from this band i cant find on the torrents. might download their newest album.This Message Edited On 10.17.08

Willie
Moderator
October 17th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have their newest album, but haven't listened to it yet. If it's anything like their last few it will be more easy listening, mainstream in style.This Message Edited On 10.17.08

Bleak123
October 17th 2008


1902 Comments


ok done.
it's safe to say im pretty interested. thanks.This Message Edited On 10.17.08

Willie
Moderator
October 17th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Got it. I get off work in four hours so I'll put it online and shoot you an e-mail in about five hours.

Bleak123
October 17th 2008


1902 Comments


ta dude. i'll be in bed by then (it'll be 5 in the morning here in jolly ol' england) and then i have work 9-5 tomorrow, so I guess i'll get it tomorrow evening some time.

rasputin
October 17th 2008


14555 Comments


Good review Willie, this sounds interesting. I'll add it to my list.

Willie
Moderator
October 17th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This might be something you actually like (a lot of the stuff I've reviewed lately you probably wouldn't).

jrowa001
October 18th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this sounds intriguing Willie. ill go search for it right now

Willie
Moderator
October 18th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this sounds intriguing Willie. ill go search for it right now
I've sent you an e-mail to set you in the right direction ;)

jrowa001
October 18th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh cool, big thanks man! downloading it right nowThis Message Edited On 10.18.08

jrowa001
October 18th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i listened to the first few songs and its interesting. very haunting like you said, but it feels like a mood album and right now im not in the mood for it. ill give it a full listen soon, maybe tonight when im alone in my bed in the dark

handoman
October 18th 2008


2386 Comments


This sounds interesting. I would add it to my list if I had one, but I don't.

jrowa001
October 18th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

get a rateyourmusic.com account. its a really easy way of seeing all the albums you want to get.

handoman
October 18th 2008


2386 Comments


Cool, thanks.

oh and I'm checking out that Down I Go album that you sounded off. Sounds good.

Willie
Moderator
October 18th 2008


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ery haunting like you said, but it feels like a mood album and right now im not in the mood for it.
It's definitely a mood album. It works better as a complete work, as well.
This sounds interesting. I would add it to my list if I had one, but I don't.
I just use a word document as my list. It works.

handoman
October 18th 2008


2386 Comments


I've been meaning to start making a list, but I got so used to downloading stuff. I never needed to keep track of stuff I wanted.

jrowa001
October 18th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah i can imagine it is much better as a whole. the mood im in right now wants more fast paced stuff. definitely ill put this on tonight.


Cool, thanks.



oh and I'm checking out that Down I Go album that you sounded off. Sounds good.


sweet hope you like it



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