Picture of Todesbonden

Sleep Now, Quiet Forest

Todesbonden - Sleep Now, Quiet Forest ©2008 Prophecy Productions
1. Surrender to the Sea
2. Surya Namaskara
3. Trianon
4. Angus Og's Fiddle
5. Fading Empire
6. Ghost of the Crescent Moon
7. Flow My Tears
8. Sailing Alone
9. Lullaby
10. Battle of Kadesh
11. Sleep Now, Quiet Forest

Boasting a line-up comprised of former members of the defunct and little-heard Rain Fell Within, Todesbonden is largely the project of that band's former back-up singer, Laurie Ann Haus (also currently in Autumn Tears). With the help of a violinst, a kantele player, and a couple other former RfW-mates, she set out to create their full length debut, Sleep Now, Quiet Forest. The resultant album is but another example of a band attempting to apply its worn-out wares in the cluttered field of mediocre female-fronted gothic/folk metal bands. While they will occasionally veer into moodier world-music territory redolent of Dead Can Dance and Passion-era Peter Gabriel, Todesbonden does little else to distinguish itself from the pack. Laurie Ann Haus' vocals, while competent and clearly "trained" in the soprano range, do nothing to push the music forward and her delivery lacks any real sort of heart or passion (this was a problem Rain Fell Within had as well, as I recall, although it has been years since I've had the urge to listen to them). Jason A. Woods' guitar playing rarely moves out of the detuned-chugga chugga mold, and the songs just plod along with nary a nod to dynamics or genuine mood (synth choruses do not an atmosphere make, people). A point is earned for covering "Lullaby" from The Wicker Man soundtrack, but only for novelty's sake.

In a genre over-wrought with less-than-competent bands, Todesbonden's worst crime isn't so much that they have unleashed a truly dreadful album, but an astoundingly mediocre one.

Review by Alec A. Head

Review date: 05/2009

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