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Review: While Heaven Wept - Of Empires Forlorn
While Heaven Wept
Of Empires Forlorn

Label: Eibon Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 42:50
Tracks: 7
Genre: Doom Metal


Review online: June 16, 2003
Reviewed by: Scott Murray
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 3.98/5 (79.57%) (47 Votes)

This one is definitely a departure from my usual audile intake, but the soothing doom harmonies of longstanding but tragically unknown While Heaven Wept has my head floating off into lands far far away. I’m no expert on doom metal, but I do know that this band has definitely got the right touch.

There’s an interesting contrast to the record. The pace is that of a snail’s, slow with plenty of downing and mentally absorptive atmosphere, but the bulk of the material wears a mask of happiness and inspiration. A perfect example being the cheery toned mellotron intro to the title- track underscored by an undeniable sense of gloom. It’s great to hear a record that really requires you to pay attention to pick up on little things you might miss the first listen or so around.

The epic ambition of the band is coupled with an album that has one of the best flows I’ve come across in some time. The mind is lost within seven minute long songs, only to return having felt only maybe a minute or so, but without the music losing its impact.

Of Empires Forlorn is a very vocal heavy record. The first couple of times I spun this one that’s all I really took in. The convincing performance by Tom Phillips is the heart and soul behind While Heaven Wept and really does take the lead. Emotionally striking with excellent range and control, with the music portions reacting to changes in tempo and mood. There is a fair share of solos and instrumental breaks of course, but the band’s charge is definitely those powerful pipes.

Perusing their discography, it’s surprising to see that for a band formed in 1989 that most of their releases are splits and promos, with only two full lengths, one of which is a collection of older material. 65 lineup changes will definitely do that to a band, but hopefully once Of Empires Forlorn is officially released this September through Rage of Achilles, Mr. Phillips and company will get the recognition they deserve.

More about While Heaven Wept...
Review: Fear of Infinity (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Fear of Infinity (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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: Suspended at Aphelion (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Triumph:Tragedy:Transcendence (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Vast Oceans Lachrymose (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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)
Interview with guitarist and songwriter Tom Phillips on December 13, 2014 (Interviewed by MetalMike)
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