|Review: Trees of Eternity - Hour of the Nightingale|
|Hour of the Nightingale|
Label: Svart Records
Year released: 2016
Genre: Doom Metal
Review online: November 1, 2016
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Hour of the Nightingale
Trees of Eternity are a new Doom band featuring members of Swallow the Sun and some ex-members of Katatonia – so as you might imagine the approach is a very melodic, smooth kind of melancholic Doom. This is very reminiscent of Swallow the Sun as well as other first-wave Doom bands like My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost – the latter's vocalist Nick Holmes even makes a guest appearance on the closing track. This is much more moody and melodic and mournful than crushing or heavy. There are some beautiful melodies on this, but it is a long way from the pummeling heaviness of Paradise Lost, being much more akin to the softer moments of Swallow the Sun.
Vocals are provided by the beautiful voice of the gifted Aleah Stanbridge, who passed away from cancer earlier this year. Her voice is soft and haunting rather than operatic, and she has a mournful tone that makes these songs affecting and encompassing. You can't listen to the album without the poignancy of her death informing every note of her performance, and it has to be said that having a literal dead woman croon bleak lyrics in your ear is probably the most Doom thing ever. On the ballad "Sinking Ships" she gives a tremendous, melancholic performance that will haunt you long after the song is over.
Overall, this album presents a powerful and bleak soundscape of beautiful, atmospheric Doom that stands out from the crowd with solid songwriting and excellent vocal work that is only made more powerful by genuine tragedy. Songs like "A Million Tears", and "Black Ocean" are pretty much as good as this kind of music can get.
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