On Thorns I Lay - _Crystal Tears_
(Holy Records, 1999)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
Neither of the two albums I heard from this band before the release of _Crystal Tears_ impressed me enough to make me want to become familiar with them, but in both cases On Thorns I Lay seemed to be searching for something special, a sound and style of their own; they just didn't seem to be having much success -- at least not apparently. Still, their new album's title track opener made me think that On Thorns I Lay might have found something really interesting this time; but while this doesn't sound too much like any other band in particular, it's not extraordinarily innovative, either. They currently play a very soft sort of metal with male and female vocals, and it is their use of a violin that is mainly responsible for the album's best moments, especially the excellent title track I mentioned before. The problem when you have such a fine opener, however, is that the rest of the album doesn't quite sound so good anymore, and that is clearly the case with _Crystal Tears_. Some more interesting passages do appear, but never again is a similar level of quality reached. The music is at times somewhat doomy, but always in a very soft way, with mellow guitars, keyboards and the aforementioned violin. The quality of the male vox varies a lot, and so does that of the music itself, as tracks like "Enigma" and other miscellaneous passages sound quite poor compared to the title track or "All Is Silent" -- clearly the album's best couple of songs. Still, most of the album is at least average, and then it also contains those two especially good songs.
(article published 8/12/1999)
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