Review Summary: Eternal Tears Of Sorrow have moved forward, presenting what could be their strongest album since the band’s humble beginnings.
This Finnish melodic death metal act has quite possibly released the highlight of their career. The band’s seventh release displays an album catchy, memorable and at the height of their game. Since forming in 1994 the Eternal Tears Of Sorrow have steadily ascended to the top of the genre and, Saivon Lapsi
is a record that reaffirms the band’s conquest of the symphonic/melodic death metal mound. Climbing to the top of the heap didn’t come easily however, as the band had to shed some of the intensity (the death metal sections) and incorporate a more symphonic element into their music. Their prior release, Children Of Dark Waters
showed the beginnings of this transformation but didn’t really define just how viable the transition would be. Thankfully, this melodic death metal band has shaped and polished Saivon Lapsi’s
sound into something more accessible, without compromising the band’s natural flair for musical ingenuity and in the process, released an album that outshines the rest of their catalogue. Coming at the beginnings of 2013, Eternal Tears Of Sorrow’s Saivon Lapsi
may just be the most optimistic melodic death metal release this year, and is certain to turn a few heads. With eleven tracks totalling a respectable forty-five minutes, Saivon Lapsi
never outstays its welcome presenting the listener with enough material to maintain interest and also highlighting just how this is a quality record without the need to bloat tracks.
More often than not those listening will notice the interplay and harmony of the vocalists. Combining some ordinary (especially as far as the death metal genre goes) growls, with warm clean male and female vocals, the centre of the stage is already getting crowded. Fear not, the effect is more than desired. Being the focal point of the band’s line-up, it makes sense to push this to the front of the mix and reinforce it as a technical highlight. Qualms to be had with the album are few and far between. Namely, some if the growls come ill-presented and lack a force that would greatly benefit the record – that’s not to say they’re out of place, but they could at least be done with a stronger conviction. This has only a minimal effect on the outcome of the entire album as the wide variety and vibrant instrumental section manages to fill the void, making up for any lost ground. As just mentioned, the instrumental aspect of this record is top notch, everything from ringing guitar chords, steady double bass drum work and some fantastic keyboard solos (see: ‘Legion of Beast’). Everything here has its place and highlights just how this band can pull everything together without giving the listener a crowded song. Every so often, Eternal Tears Of Sorrow will change pace with a ballad of sorts, tracks like ‘Sound of Silence’ which remove most of the intensity familiar to other tracks reinforce the band’s impressive clean vocals and allow a resting period from the usual mid-paced melodic death onslaught. A contrast that is most welcome.
Overall, there isn’t really anything out of the ordinary for Eternal Tears Of Sorrow, the music has shifted to a slightly softer, more accessible sound but, for the most part it’s the same old band. The main difference comes in how well the band has presented Saivon Lapsi
, especially compared to the band’s prior releases (they’ve come a long way since the debut, Sinner’s Serenade
). Despite ticking all the right boxes, Eternal Tears Of Sorrow have somehow managed to come out on top of the pile and in the process outshine the rest of the band’s discography. Excellent musicianship, dominating vocal phrasing and captivating solo/lead work all make a mark on the listener. Saivon Lapsi
has something for everybody to enjoy, even more so for the fans of the genre. From the light to the dark and even the middle ground, Eternal Tears Of Sorrow have truly outdone themselves on their seventh full-length, and metaphorically pulled the rabbit out of the hat in 2013.