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[BeforeTheRain] : Frail

You’ll quickly get the picture: all in all this second album of Before The Rain probably doesn't break any grounds.

Before The Rain second full-length, ’Frail’, is a modern melodic Doom release consisting of 6 long mid- to downtempo tracks. According to the band’s website, lots of "Doom VIPs" were involved in the creation process. Let me quote:
"The highly anticipated follow-up to 2007 ’One Day Less...’ was mixed at Chapel Studios (My Dying Bride, Cathedral) in Lincolnshire, England by Ewan Davies (Anathema) & Valter Cunha, mastered at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden by Jens Bogren (Katatonia, Paradise Lost) and includes Natalie Koskinen (Shape Of Despair) and Peter Bjärgö (Arcana) as guest singers... "Frail" brings a more mature sound with a revamped line-up including new members Gary Griffth (ex-Morgion), Carlos Monteiro (ex-Sculpture and Joaquim Aires (ex-Disaffected)."
If you think this is the end of the list of references, you're wrong: they also mention some of the bands they toured with.

As for the music, the same happens: while listening to the album you can't help occasionally thinking of other well-established melodic Doom Metal names. The good thing though is that there isn't one band you can compare them to directly. Nothing new or unique here, but also no imitation (if I really had to come up with some comparisons, I'd say it sounds somewhat like Mourning Beloveth's ’Dust’ mixed a bit with Rapture's ‘Songs for the withering’, lightened up by late Anathema moods).

Before the Rain’s Doom is mostly warm and calm, driven by clean male vocals and slow guitar melodies, occasionally alternated/accompanied by grunts and powerchords, and some more different backing vocals, notabely female vocal lines from aforementioned Natalie Koskinen (very rare though, and I can't even tell where Peter Bjärgö of Arcana takes his part, actually). As for the leading clean male vocals - they're clearly the highlight of this album. Gary Griffith does an awesome job. Without him, it wouldn't be that interesting I suppose as the music sounds mostly vocal-driven to me. Unlike The Foreshadowing which they remind me of too, Before The Rain scarcely use keyboards, what in fact works for the benefit of the band, giving it a bit of an originality among all those melodic Doom oufits who can’t do without them.

The opener track doesn’t sound at all like the following ones, and it gives a wrong feeling of what comes next. If the first song is savage and abrupt, the rest is more clean vocals-driven, slower in tempo and more consistent. I find it hard to highlight some particular tracks since the are so long, but I would like to mention "A Glimpse Towards The Sun" - the shortest track (well, still almost 9 minutes) where I think the vocal lines and performance really shine. As well as a more memorable riff in "Shards" underlining lyrics like "My life is pale, devoid of colour" and so forth, which appears near the beginning and at the end of the song.

Well, you get the picture: all in all this album probably doesn't break any grounds, but is a nice and decent listen, especially if you're into melodic Doom Metal. Otherwise I wouldn't be so sure (some might not find it interesting or say heavy enough, while others might be scared away just by the length of the songs).The production is quite good and there aren't really any "total filler" parts wich is rather remarkable for such long compositions; as their length is mostly motivated by the slow pace used on most of the album, there are still enough changes to keep the listener interested throughout.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. And the World Ends There
2. Shards
3. Breaking the Waves
4. A Glimpse Towards the Sun
5. Frail
6. Peace Is Absent

Duration : Approx. 74 minutes

Visit the [BeforeTheRain] bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-12-01 by Mykola
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