|Review: Eternal Tears Of Sorrow - Chaotic Beauty|
Label: SpineFarm Records
Year released: 2000
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: March 29, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 4.31/5 (86.25%) (16 Votes)
What is it about Finland? Is it something in the water? Or maybe there just isn’t anything to do up there all winter but write great music. Hell if I know, but it seems like every act from this country is just fantastic. Eternal Tears of Sorrow are no exception, and "Chaotic Beauty" is a flat-out amazing album. This was their second release, and it really is the best one yet.
Describing the sound of ETOS is not easy, as they put so much into their music. The basic style is melodic death metal, but a style that takes almost nothing from the Gothenburg sound. To this they add rolling, almost soulful guitar melodies and a complex use of keyboards with sounds ranging from piano to electronica to 70s-style organ sounds. Now I know that sounds awful, and half the time I can’t believe they get away with the stuff they do, but ETOS write songs with such style and flair, and such a fine ear for melody, that you can’t help but go with it. Vocals are harsh, almost black-metal at times. Backing vocals on this album are courtesy of Sinergy’s Kim Goss, and she shares lead vocals on the album’s best song, the haunting "Bride of the Crimson Sea."
I have nothing but praise for this CD. From the straightforward death-songs like "Shattered Soul" and the Dan Swano-penned "Black Tears" to the more moody cuts like "Autumn’s Grief", "Bhean Sidhe" or the aforementioned highlight "Bride of the Crimson Sea" every song on here is just about perfect. ETOS are ace songwriters, and every note and drumbeat is exactly where it needs to go. The production is flawless, maintaining heaviness while never sacrificing clarity. The music here is heavy, complex, and often just beautiful.
The CD is a nice package, with cool art and lyrics included. The lyrics deserve mention here, as they are really first rate. ETOS do not stick with the usual "burn the churches and rip out people’s guts" school of death metal lyrics. They write rather deep and evocative lyrics with real poetic sweep. Very classy stuff.
I can’t praise this CD enough, I could go on for pages and still not convey the beauty, style and power of "Chaotic Beauty". Any fan of melodic death metal, or of more experimental forms of death will just love this, and the music here is of high enough quality to even appeal to those not normally enamored of death metal. Eternal Tears of Sorrow are just that fucking good. "Chaotic Beauty" has all the hallmarks of a classic, and all metalheads should bow down and worship it right now, as this is easily the best death metal album I have ever heard.
Standouts: Autumn’s Grief, Bride of the Crimson Sea, Tar of Chaos, Bhean Sidhe.
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