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Fall of Empyrean : Anhedonia

US doom band Fall of Empyrean released their second works, 'Anhedonia' (following a 2001 self titled demo), in late 2002. The (mini?) album, lasting just under 37 minutes, is capable of thrusting this very promising young band into high places in the Doom-metal scene.

'Anhedonia' is a masterpiece of emotional modern doom, simply put. Some would perhaps swiftly neglect it as a boring, gothic drenched 'Turn Loose the Swans' replica, and though this classic record has undeniably influenced the band a great deal, this would be a completely stupid and incorrect stance to take. This CD is in fact very original and unique, and I would even go as far as to say there is not an ounce of goth present. So, make the typical generalisation of this and no doubt countless other bands if you wish, the rest of us will enjoy this album wholeheartedly.

If you are a little bit more open minded and have a fancy for passionate modern Doom-metal, then I strongly suggest you to continue, because this is one hell of a record, and is mightily promising for a band who began only a couple of years before. It starts with a sublime but short piano overture, and ends with a 10+ minute long heavy, emotional, moody death/doom tour de force, my personal favourite 'Destructive Light of Dawn'. FoE.'s music is really overflowing with torturous sorrow and pain, and this is illustrated not just in the woeful music, but in the bitter, melancholy lyrics and grey, hopeless artwork also...it all adds up to create an immensely sorrowful and emotive atmosphere that is devastatingly affective. The tempo is mostly mid-paced (on a doomy scale), and this is a largely accessible record compared to the more unconventional doom projects in existence... 'Anhedonia' is certainly a metal album, and so will likely appeal to the more open minded but less doom-oriented metalheads out there, as well as the tragic doom- heads of course. As well as the traditional metal band instruments, with the tormented growls and woeful, rich guitars particularly dominant, Fall of Empyrean also introduce the occasional acoustic guitar interludes which always help to add atmosphere with their soft, solemn sound, and keys that are sometimes played solo, but mostly reasonably quiet and layered underneath the guitars - both the acoustics and keys are used minimally, but are effective in further adding to the emotional, despairing atmosphere. And, to generalise, this record could be compared to the works of Anathema ('Serenades' in particular), Mourning Beloveth and The Prophecy, though there are clearly more diverse influences such as Opeth present. Despite all this, FoE. are certainly not a clone of any band, and with 'Anhedonia' they have composed quite an original CD, keeping with particularly favoured traditions of some of their fore-fathers and blending them in to their own sound to make a unique and top quality doom album.

So, if 'Anhedonia' does interest you and you’re appreciate of original, atmospheric, perhaps a little mellow and emotional doom, then I urge you to head over to www.fallofempyrean.com and get yourself a copy immediately. And for those who decide against doing this, just watch out for Fall of Empyrean in the future, as they seem to me to be a massively hot prospect within the modern doom scene, and if they continue at this rate, they could at least land themselves a record deal with no time.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Wounded Skies
2. This Paradise Crumbles
3. Drowning in Gray
4. Virga
5. The Catatonic
6. Destructive Light of Dawn

Duration : Approx. 37 minutes

Visit the Fall of Empyrean bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Stephen Burrell
Forever Autumn
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