Saturday, 26 March 2011

CD Review: A Virgin And A Whore, by Eternal Tears Of Sorrow (2001)


The fourth album from Finland's Eternal Tears Of Sorrow is packed full of high quality melodic metal. A Virgin And A Whore is actually a sparkling princess.

More than half the members of Eternal Tears Of Sorrow featured on A Virgin And A Whore have career connections to Kalmah: guitarist Antti Kokko, drummer Petri Sankala and keyboardist Pasi Hiltula. There are strong stylistic similarities between the bands: the strong emphasis on melodies, sharp compositions and accurate delivery are common. Eternal Tears Of Sorrow are more lyrical, slightly slower paced, and allow the keyboards to take on more responsibility.

A Virgin And a Whore is a rare non-instrumental heavy metal album where the keyboards claim as much prominence as the guitar in leading the charge, and this unconventional approach perfectly suits the band's style. The rest of the instruments, as well as Altti Vetelainen's slightly nasally growl vocals, are tuned back just slightly in the mix, allowing Hiltula's keyboards to shine.

Aurora Borealis and The Last One For Life are two similarly terrific tracks, and represent Eternal Tears Of Sorrow at their best. Haunting little keyboard melodies underpin both songs, with strong and clever support from the guitars of Puolakanaho and Kokko, often providing just the right embellishment. Aurora Borealis is a good fit for Vetelainen's voice, while The Last One For Life features a successful mix of clean and growl vocals. Album closer Aeon is in the same mould, but suffers slightly from over-repetitiveness.

Heart Of Wilderness and Prophetian are also excellent and add to the depth of quality on the album, the former probably sounding most Kalmah-like with the guitars coming to the fore. The cover of Accept's Sick, Dirty and Mean is interesting but somewhat of a mismatch with the band's smooth vibe.

Eternal Tears Of Sorrow never achieved the fame of other Finnish metal bands, but on the evidence of this album, they deserved to reach a significantly wider audience.


Band:

Jarmo Puolakanaho - Guitar
Petri Sankala - Drums
Altti Vetelainen - Vocals, Bass
Pasi Hiltula - Keyboards
Antti Kokko - Guitar


Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Aurora Borealis - 10 *see below*
2. Heart Of Wilderness - 8
3. Prophetian - 8
4. Fall Of Man - 8
5. The River Flows Frozen - 7
6. The Last One For Life - 10
7. Sick, Dirty And Mean - 7
8. Blood Of Hatred - 7
9. Aeon - 9

Average: 8.22

Produced by Eternal Tears Of Sorrow.
Engineered by Ahti Kortelainen and Mikko Karmila.
Mixed by Mikko Karmila. Mastered by Mika Jussila.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.




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