Long Winter's Stare - _Cold Tale Eternal_
(Pantheon, 1998)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
Doom metal accompanied by a cello has been an interesting thought for me ever since My Dying Bride started using a violin more often in their music, and the contrabass (you may think of it as a cello) used by Long Winters' Stare does give them a significant amount of extra quality. Mixing some more American-style doom with European doom influences, the contrabass and a somewhat peculiar use of keyboards, LWS manage to sound a bit different from other doom bands. One of the characteristics of their sound that seems very reminiscent of American doom is the vocal style, more screamed than grunted. This approach doesn't work too well sometimes (though it does really fit the excellent start of "Sigh"), and a more constant, low-pitched approach, like that of the last two tracks, might have been better. A couple of very good instrumental tracks featuring contrabass, acoustic guitars and piano are also quite welcome. The major downside of this 20 minute long EP is essencially the fact that all seven songs are very short (usually under the three minute mark, with two four minute long exceptions), and the song structures are a bit repetitive. Still, this is certainly a solid debut, especially thanks to the contrabass.

Contact: http://www.njrocks.com/lws/

(article published 8/7/1998)

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