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Review: While Heaven Wept - Fear of Infinity
While Heaven Wept
www.whileheavenwept.com
Fear of Infinity

Label: Nuclear Blast
Year released: 2011
Duration: 37:06
Tracks: 7
Genre: Doom Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: July 8, 2011
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
for:
Fear of Infinity

Rated 4.27/5 (85.38%) (52 Votes)
Review


I am forced helplessly to admit the fact that I don't like this album that well. Not that it is a bad album, but that it is much less than I hoped for. Fear of Infinity is the big-label follow-up to 2009's lauded Vast Oceans Lachrymose, and consists of a collection of songs already-written: some from long ago, some meant for VOL but didn't make the cut. It shows.

The first half of the disc is just oddly weak and unfinished-feeling. "Hour of Reprisal", "Destroyer of Solace" and "Obsessions Now Effigies" are all under the five-minute mark and just don't get the room to develop their thematic ideas and musical motifs. "Destroyer" also has the handicap of terrible, terrible vocal melodies in the opening verse - they really are atrociously off-key and crowded, cramming way too many words into the metrical space. "Unplentitude" has one nice melody, but just repeats it over and over without ever going anywhere - not that it would have time in 3:21.

"To Grieve Forever" and "Saturn and Sacrifice" actually get some room to breathe, and benefit enormously from it, with melodies that have time to get somewhere and build into the kind of dramatic constructions I expect from this band. "Finality" is the big closer, and at 11 minutes is given plenty of time to grow, but it is just not on a par with WHW's A material, and the ending is just trite and annoys me every time, when Rain sings "...until the end" and then the song just stops. It's supposed to be clever, but it just comes off as gimmicky and weak. Overall the entire sound of the disc is weak, with the guitar sound too smoothed out and clean to do its work – what happened to the heaviness?

It grieves me to dislike this album, as I love this band. I have followed them eagerly for the better part of a decade and Of Empires Forlorn and Vast Oceans Lachrymose remain favorite albums of mine. I have followed half this band from the days of Brave, and I have interviewed two of the band members more than once – I have a lot vested in them, and I wanted their NB debut to be a masterwork. Nobody is sadder than I am to have to say it isn't.

Other related information on the site
Review: Fear of Infinity (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Lovesongs of the Forsaken (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Of Empires Forlorn (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Of Empires Forlorn (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Of Empires Forlorn (reviewed by Scott Murray)
Review: Suspended at Aphelion (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Triumph:Tragedy:Transcendence (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Vast Oceans Lachrymose (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with guitarist and songwriter Tom Phillips on December 13, 2014 (Interviewed by MetalMike)
Interview with Tom Philips on July 3, 2003 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with Tom Phillips on October 28, 2009 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with Tom Phillips (guitar) on April 30, 2011 (Interviewed by MetalMike)
Video: The Furthest Shore (Parts 1-3)
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