While Heaven Wept

Picture of While Heaven Wept

Of Empires Forlorn

While Heaven Wept - Of Empires Forlorn ©2003 Rage Of Achilles
1. The Drowning Years
2. Of Empires Forlorn
3. Voice In The Wind
4. In Aeternum
5. Soulsadness
6. Epistle No. 81
7. Sorrow Of The Angels

While Heaven Wept has been a long suffering doom metal act, which is sort of a job requirement if you're going to play this sort of music. After all, if you weren't suffering, you'd probably be writing Beach Boys tunes and there's probably nothing further from that than While Heaven Wept. Having been together over ten years in a myriad of various lineups, While Heaven Wept has put out a handful of recordings, with Of Empires Forlorn being the latest. This CD features part of the Brave/Arise From Thorns lineup, which band leader Tom Phillips was a part of for awhile.

While Heaven Wept's approach to doom takes on a very lush, classy approach that draws more from the melodic style of Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus. Tom Phillips' singing is actually a bit reminscient of Michael Kiske, before Kiske became a metal malcontent. Tom's ability to hit those high soaring notes is quite impressive, as well as his command of convincing melodies. The strong use of keyboards does occasionally tend to give While Heaven Wept an AOR feel to their doom, particularly "Voice in the Wind", which is about as anthemic and ear bending as any song you'll ever hear in the doom category. The seven songs on this CD are lengthy, but arranged in a deft fashion that keeps the songs propelling forwards and never becoming stale. There's even a reworking of "Epistile No. 81", which old school doom fans while remember Candlemass taking on quite some time ago.

Of Empires Forlorn is quite possibly one of the best doom metal releases of 2003 and one of the more impressive albums of its style in quite some time. Each listen has brought out more to appreciate and enjoy, providing some nice depth. Needless to say, this CD could easily find appeal in any doom fan or a metal fan with appreciation for well constructed melodic, gloomy music.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/2003

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