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Review: Eternal Tears Of Sorrow - A Virgin and a Whore
Eternal Tears Of Sorrow
A Virgin and a Whore

Label: SpineFarm Records
Year released: 2002
Duration: 43:04
Tracks: 9
Genre: Progressive Metal


Review online: March 20, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 4.38/5 (87.5%) (24 Votes)

If I say "melodic death metal", you will think "In Flames", just like if I say "Megadeth" you will think "Crap". There’s no way to avoid it, but there it is. Eternal Tears Of Sorrow play death metal, and they use lots of melody, and they sound nothing like In Flames at all, or any other Gothenburg band, so put that right out of your head.

Categorizing this stuff is not easy, as "A Virgin and a Whore" is even less mainstream than their last, "Chaotic Beauty". ETOS play heavy riffs with harsh vocals, but overlay them with keyboard and guitar melodies that are as sweet as any tunes come up with by power metal bands. A lot of the keyboards sound very organ-like, almost reminiscent of a 70’s type sound, other times they are piano-toned or symphonic. I know how that must sound on paper, but trust me it works. There’s a little bit of Opeth here, a little Agalloch, but there really isn’t anyone else who sounds like this band. They combine elements of doom, death metal, power metal and gothic into a potent vibe that is very distinctive, and very cool. ("Potent Vibe" would be a cool name for a band.) Songs like "Prophetian", the straightforward "Fall of Man" and "The Last One For Life" showcase the band’s complex songwriting and eclectic style. A real highlight here is "The River Flows Frozen" a ballad-type number with very good clean vocals and beautiful harmonies, a spellbinding song.

The only real drawback here is the track "Sick, Dirty and Mean" a kind of death-rock song that’s like a throwback to a different band. I guess it was thrown in as a sop to old fans who wish the band was still a more traditional death act, but it sucks pretty hard, and it really breaks the mood of the album. Thank heavens for the skip button.

This is a very classy CD package with gloomy cover art and a cool layout inside with lots of weird artwork. The lyrics are actually very good, which is another plus, and atypical for death metal bands in general.

When I first got this CD I gave it a listen, thought it was pretty good, and put it aside. The next time I listened to it I was really enthralled, and when it was done I just pushed play again – twice more in fact. This is a really beautiful, involving album that I can’t get enough of, with the exception of the one song, I love every cut on here, and I heartily look forward to the future for these guys.

Standout Tracks: Prophetian, Fall Of Man, The River Flows Frozen, Aeon.

More about Eternal Tears Of Sorrow...
Review: Before the Bleeding Sun (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Chaotic Beauty (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Children of the Dark Waters (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Saivon Lapsi (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Sinner's Serenade (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Vilda Mannu (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Interview with guitarist Jarmo Puolakanaho and vocalist and bassist Altti Veteläinen on July 25, 2020 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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