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The Living Fields : The Living Fields

I am extremely happy that I was given the chance to review this release by such a great band. The Living Fields released a demo a few years ago under the title 'The Miseries Never Cease'. The demo received many great reviews and also gained the band a great number of fans (among them me) around the world, so the expectations for this release were very high. One thing I did not know was that The Living Fields are only a studio band. The members of the band have never played together because they live on different continents according to the press release included with the demo.

The album kicks off with 'What’s Left Behind', a pompous, dark and epic song that reminds me of the good moments from the early and mid-period careers of My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost. The song's well crafted arrangements and beautifully placed acoustic passages enhance the atmosphere and feeling of the song.

Next is 'Burial at Sky' which enters with a piano and then turns into a classic doom song with great vocals and riffs. The track which follows, 'This Great Majority', is an avant-garde/drone instrumental that hypnotizes and relaxes the listener before totally surprising them with what comes next. 'Monument' is a gem for the epic doom subgenre and it shows the vast talent of the band and their respect for classic and progressive music. 'Feast on Earth' is built on the same formula and once again the band creates a classic song.

'The Soil Giveth' departs from the formula of the previous songs. It's a bit rockier and reminds me of The Black League. This is a very short parenthesis though as the song evolves into a nightmarish, back to their roots, doom/black song with neoclassical elements that pays respect to the band that is responsible for the imagery of black metal artists: Mercyful Fate. This is something that is more than obvious on almost the entire album since Jonathan Higgs' clear vocals are often high pitched like those of King Diamond. More of the same goes for the ten minute epic that closes the album, 'The Overview Effect'. Besides the doom and black influences, the song also brings in classical elements which are accompanied by a prominent Skyclad-like violin and NWOBHM guitar melodies that evolve into crushing riffs.

This is definitely an album that fans of all the bands I've mentioned will love. Most of all it, it will appeal to fans of While Heaven Wept or Doomshine if they can get used to the black/death vocals which are used throughout the album.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. What Is Left Behind
2. Burial At Sky
3. This Great Majority
4. Monument
5. Feast for The Earth
6. The Soil Giveth
7. The Overview Effect

Duration : Approx. 47 minutes.

Visit the The Living Fields bandpage.

Reviewed on 15-06-2009 by Dimitris Plastiras
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