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Amber Tears : Revelation Renounced

The recently re-issued debut album by Amber Tears brings us some of the most epic Death Doom ever heard, but is it doomy enough?

Bad Mood Man, a subdivision of the prestigious Russian Doom label Solitude Productions, has been known for covering the softer, more atmospheric and sometimes also more untypical realms of the genre, and Янтарные Слёзы (Amber Tears) make no exception. Apparently the label picked them up for their second album in 2010, and now they have re-issued the debut Откровение Отречённых (Revelation Renounced) which was originally released on Stygian Crypt in 2006. The re-issue ends with a hidden track which does not seem to be a part of the original album; it is more in a classic Heavy Metal vein and does not really add anything significant, so if you already own a copy, you can skip this new release altogether.

The band, too, is based in Russia and plays melodic, easy on the ears Death Doom. Their music is very epic throughout, full of soaring lead guitars and solos which are embedded in midtempo arrangements. The drumming is very energetic for Doom standards, adding to the epic feel, and majestic keyboards are constantly weaving their textures in the background. Vocal-wise, we get powerful growls, occasional spoken words or whispers and very few clean vocals. Without exaggeration, this entire album is an incessant deluge of catchy melodies, proving that the musicians have quite a compositional talent; however, this approach has its downside: after a few minutes, the songs become pretty predictable, serving us more of the same till the album ends. From this perspective they can seem a bit shallow, leaving little room for subtleties. But the band clearly achieve what they were aiming for; after all, there is no reason to assume that surprises and subtleties are part of their musical vision in the first place. The melodies and arrangements are often as epic as it gets and can be pretty engaging if they strike a chord with your personal taste. It will help if that taste also includes Pagan Metal, for Янтарные Слёзы seem to draw heavily from that genre in the general feel of their music, although they keep things very basic – you won’t find any choirs, folk influences or fancy instruments here.

The matter with this album is really very simple: It is good for what it is, so if the above descriptions seem appealing, then you are unlikely to be disappointed; if, by contrast, they do not exactly raise high expectations, you probably won’t miss anything at all here. In terms of atmosphere and songwriting, Откровение Отречённых is arguably only a borderline case of Doom Metal and has nothing in common with either the suffocating darkness and crushing riffage of the more extreme Death Doom acts, or the emotional fragility of the mellower bands in the genre. Consequently, some will love it and others will hate it. This may seem like a rather dull conclusion, but there are cases where it simply comes down to taste in the end.

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Reviewer's rating: 6/10


Tracklist :
1. Intro
2. Сквозь Осенний Дождь
3. Оставив Слёзы
4. Над Полями Веков…
5. Зов Мечты
6. Дорогой Теней
7. Снег
8. Отречённое Одиночество

Duration : Approx. 43 / 56 minutes

Visit the Amber Tears bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-10-23 by Dominik Sonders
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