Eternal Tears of Sorrow
A Virgin and A Whore


4.5
superb

Review

by Xenorazr CONTRIBUTOR (116 Reviews)
August 10th, 2010 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A classic case of unrepeatable excellence.

Conjuring up an at least decent band name isn’t exactly the challenge of a lifetime. Before we even begin listening to a group our first real impression will come with how good the name is. Some might just sound awesome when spoken such as Children of Bodom, Cannibal Corpse and Sepultura while others, though likely meant for humor, are just off-putting due to their names (The Devil Wears Prada, I Killed the Prom Queen, Job for a Cowboy, etc.). Regrettably for both sides, a weak name will often result in many not giving such groups a shot for said reason. As it turns out, several people I know won’t give Finnish act Eternal Tears of Sorrow a chance due to their “stupid name.” Though certainly not surprising, this realization is still unfortunate, as the band have released some great material, with their 2001 release A Virgin and a Whore being the best indication of this.

Initially, the album might not seem to hold too much merit, especially if successor Before the Bleeding Sun is heard beforehand. The production and overall sound isn’t necessarily striking and the influences are easy to pass off as negligible at first. However, the album simply begs for multiple listens as the strong points become more and more prominent each time. There’s an abundance of synthesizers and keyboards present in all of the tracks to create a gravely melodic and overall cold presence which persists from start to finish. From the high, almost chime-like keys which initiate “The Last One for Life” to the lonely atmosphere created on opening track “Aurora Borealis” and original album closer “Aeon,” this release brings much to tingle its listener’s spine.

To compliment the chilling style are some gothic inspirations, namely in the lyrics and general themes. Probably the best example of this comes in “The River Flows Frozen,” which sees two versions appearing on the album (one regular, the other acoustic, which concludes certain copies). There’s a definite feeling of loneliness, despair and a generally morose nature that can actually make the band’s name seem justified afterwards. . Settings also seem to work their way into much of the album’s subject matter, with “...a darkened sun…”, “…moonlight blackened…” and “…dark dreams of the past…” being just some of the occurrences.

There are points the band seek livelier standards during the album, which, while providing a bit of agitation to the music, doesn’t work as wonderfully when compared to the more relaxed sections. One only needs a single listen to each side of “The River Flows Frozen” to fully understand this. While the original track is handled very well on its own merits, the acoustic version definitely shows a superior utilization of both instrumental and vocal work (all clean) to develop the song as it should be. Though even with a more energetic song such as “Fall of Man” showing less worth than almost every other track, the band provide a surprisingly effective cover of Accept’s “Sick, Dirty & Mean.” While it’s very true to their core sound, this isn’t at the expense of the original track’s rebellious nature. As a result, it’s quite an effective cover.

A Virgin and a Whore is an interesting album to assess from a critic’s standpoint. The music only begins to feel more and more elaborate with each successive listen, yet it’s difficult to fully explain how. Between the dark, bitter lyrics, occasionally harsh moments used to deliver some bite with the dominantly cold and melodic sound execution, the band happen to provide something near classic-worthy. If anything holds it back from such status, the occasional “good rather than great” moment and adequate but mostly unimposing death vocals do. Despite these shortcomings, A Virgin and a Whore turns out to be a real treat, one that’s relaxing yet simultaneously engages the listener.



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user ratings (111)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Josh D. (4)
I'm glad I don't judge bands by their name because the music this one makes is really good....



Comments:Add a Comment 
vanderb0b
August 10th 2010


3473 Comments


This sounds cool, I'll check it out.

HumanGenome
August 10th 2010


195 Comments


so is this BM? i'm still not sure what this sounds like

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
August 10th 2010


19975 Comments


Isn't this like a samurai metal band? I'm sure i heard they did a samurai concept album...

Anyway, i've known about these guys for a while, but never checked them out. Pos'd.

Xenorazr
Contributing Reviewer
August 10th 2010


1356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, the album's definitely not black metal (closest they have to that is Children of the Dark Waters, and even that's a stretch). Without caring how cluttered it'll look, I'd say this is a blackened symphonic/melodic death metal album with gothic influences.



@Hyperion1001: The band themselves aren't samurai metal (you might be thinking Whispered, I posted a review for them not too long ago), one of their older albums might (haven't heard Vilda Mannu or Chaotic Beauty, but I seriously doubt either sound that much different on a conceptual level).

Josh D.
October 25th 2010


14103 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You son of a bitch, I was the only review for this.



And then you came here and ruined everything and got a link on Wikipedia? I will get you for this.

Xenorazr
Contributing Reviewer
November 6th 2010


1356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

How about that? Whoever did it got my rating wrong, perhaps they didn't expect anyone else to review it either.



Hey, go ahead and review one of the album's I've done (Thousand Swords, Idolator), shouldn't be too tough. :P

Josh D.
November 6th 2010


14103 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't want to. You stole my glory.

Xenorazr
Contributing Reviewer
November 6th 2010


1356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"I'm a thief, but I keep what I steal."

Josh D.
November 6th 2010


14103 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

How dare you.

Headfoot
July 10th 2013


52 Comments


Same origins as Children of Bodom and Kalmah with a correspondingly similar sound

KriegdemKriege
March 22nd 2014


1539 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is a really great album.

mifzal
September 8th 2014


3081 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album. Exactly how gothic metal should be

swipenet
September 18th 2016


2712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gotta love Antti Kokko

Kirderf
May 16th 2018


42 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album



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