Long Winter's Stare - _The Tears of Odin's Fallen_
(Dark Symphonies, 2000)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
How very appropriate that a band who describe themselves as creators of "dark symphonic metal" is now signed to Dark Symphonies. Coincidences aside, LWS's third release [CoC #32, CoC #39] sees the band continue to explore their rather unusual sound, now with female vocalist Deirdre Faith in their ranks as well. After LWS's previous record _Before the Dawn, So Go the Shadows of Humanity_ I was wondering where the band might go next. That album was interesting but not very consistent, and I felt further experimentation might subtract more from that consistency if they were not careful. LWS did make some good choices for this record, however, and did manage to make some interesting changes to their sound without losing more consistency (even if they didn't gain much either). Deirdre Faith's often sombre but quite varied vocals are certainly a worthy addition to LWS's music, while the male vocals continue to evolve somewhat. The thick, dirge-like guitar sound is used in such a way that it leaves centre stage for the vocals, keyboards (mainly classical piano) and contrabass, backed by the competently programmed artificial percussion. This all works very well indeed during the slower sections, but whenever LWS try to add some more power or pace, their musical engine clearly struggles to keep up, as their sound is not well suited for that at all -- the slower and sadder the music gets, the more appropriate it seems. The album's highlight for me is a good example of that: the rather tragic "In Arms". Other tracks, such as "Blood of Steel", are also worthy of mention, but again LWS need to achieve a more consistent album than this, for there are still passages that don't work too well. A nearly twenty minute long funereal doom track closes this hour-long album. It does not fully justify its length, as it does get rather repetitive, but the idea was good and the execution competent. This is another unusual album from LWS that might cause very varied reactions, but they do have the merit of sounding quite different from the norm, in addition to the quality that _The Tears of Odin's Fallen_ does have.

Contact: http://www.darksymphonies.com

(article published 12/8/2000)

7/8/1998 P Azevedo 8 Long Winter's Stare - Cold Tale Eternal
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