|Review: The 3rd And the Mortal - Sorrow|
Label: Head Not Found
Year released: 1994
Review online: July 20, 2009
Reviewed by: Caspian
It's sort of hard to not to at least mention The Gathering when talking about this band - they aren't terribly similar in any audible sense, but there's that similarly dreamy gothic grace from the singer, a really, really good bunch of musicians writing some really lush stuff, and a sort of doom-y but not terribly heavy sound that's the main backbone of the whole thing. Indeed, it wouldn't surprise me if this album didn't heavily influence The Gathering when they were getting Anneke and writing Mandylion; the timing certainly suggests that.
However, while that band was busy pursuing a lush, atmospheric Rock/Doom hybrid, this is a fair bit more doomy and altogether bleaker; a lot starker, way more clean guitars, and a more intense sound when the guitars and (really good) drums get all heavy and powerful. Not as anthemic, perhaps, or as immediately melodic and accessible. More esoteric in general really; the dreamy folkiness and sometimes unusual chord progressions suggest a bit of Dead Can Dance influence. Or, err, Enya.
But seriously this is really good, and as with most good female-fronted bands (or, it should be said, good bands in general) the vocalist isn't the star of the show, but another instrument adding to the overall music. And man, the music is really high quality; 3rd and the Mortal try a few different things here and pull it all off aplomb. Whether it's the tasty medieval folk of the title track or the different angles these guys take at Doom (even approaching something like Death/Doom in parts of "Ring on Fire"), the music's been done brilliantly - songs kept relatively short, very moody and atmospheric. It probably helps that this is an EP, too - I'd be hard pressed to listen to this stuff if it was spread over something like 80 minutes, but instead it's short and really leaves you wanting more - I guess maybe a 5th song would've been good, but for the most part the restrained length of the whole thing works great. There's no filler to be found here.
Yeah, overall this is a damn cool little release that's worth checking out if you enjoy some Gothic or Doom metal, or perhaps just need something that you can relax too. I really like it, and I can definitely see it being in regular rotation for a long time.
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