Following a debut that was heralded not only in the metal press but by fans alike, The Sorrow began a journey that would see them rapidly ascend to the summit of Austrian metal. A post they would soon become accustomed to; subsequent tours with some of the biggest names in modern metal helped the band to acquire a constantly growing fanbase. February 2009 saw the young Austrians deliver another slab of intensely crushing metalcore, an effort that earned them the accolade of a European tour with Brazilian giants Sepultura. The Sorrow had emphatically announced themselves as a force. Now in 2010, Austria’s finest are back with their greatly anticipated self-titled third outing. An album which sees the band’s confidence and expertise exhibited in the only manner they know; with brutal force and meticulous precision.
For fans of the band, their anticipation was well placed. While The Sorrow
does not contain any real surprises, the band has continued to grow on their signature sound and have conjured up yet another record of immense quality that will once again make fans and critics of the genre take notice. The pummeling, energetic riffs that made The Sorrow’s first two records so enjoyable are still prevalent here and the partnership of Mathias and Andreas on guitars is now firmly at the forefront of the band’s assault; the pair interlock with complex structured dual leads that give the album its depth and dexterity. The clean vocals of Mathias are also used to better effect than previously and the frontman’s emotion is depicted in elegant style, without deflecting from the utter harshness The Sorrow otherwise emit. Sky scraping choruses prevalently utilized on Blessings From A Blackened Sky and Origin Of The Storm are also stepped up; Opener “Afflictions” and “Farewells” being prime examples of The Sorrow’s supreme capacity to combine catchy, clean sung choruses that fit the tone of their aggressive sound perfectly. The latter being the album’s ‘slow’ song, it consists of mainly clean vocals and slow guitar melodies, providing an interesting change of pace at the halfway mark of the album.
Production value is as crisp and clean as ever, helping the breakdowns and pummeling riffs maintain their colossal impact. A minor aspect that plays such a dominant part in preserving the band’s trademark sound from start to finish. The Pummeling blast beats from the pedals Dominik Immler ensure the groovy riffs still pack a ferocious punch throughout. This skilled group of musicians never seem to overuse the breakdown, as is a common flaw with many bands in the genre today, and never resort to unnecessarily comprising songs with said breakdowns that serve no other purpose than to fill up the minutes. Tracks like “Grief Machine” and “Crossing Jordan” show the band’s song writing abilities are as powerful as ever as they coalesce skillful breakdowns and drum patterns effortlessly and ferociously into riffs, passages, as well as the choruses. While they may be the same rudiments we’ve heard before, one cannot deny that the flair which The Sorrow so fluently exhibit is anything short of magnificent.
With their third album, The Sorrow have delivered thirteen quality songs containing all the classic trademarks we’ve come to know and love. Crushing, groove infused metalcore delivered with the type of confidence and exuberance their peers can only dream of achieving. However, the question regarding the direction of their future sound and releases remains; is this a good old fashion case of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it? Or is this solid outfit destined to grow stale and repetitive in the near future? While every listener will derive their own opinions on such questions upon listening to this self-titled outing, the answer lies within the hands and hearts of four young Austrians who clearly have no shortage of musical ideas or the burgeoning ability required to execute them. While it may require more time to grow than previous records, The Sorrow can be proud to put their name to such a brilliantly constructed album.