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Sorrowful : In The Rainfall

Sorrowful's debut full-length is straight from the old school of Anathema.

After not paying much attention to new releases for a number of years, I came back to discover the Death/Doom scene in fantastic shape. It seemed like everywhere I looked were new bands mixing in exciting new elements and constantly pushing the boundaries of what was possible within the scene. Fortunate, perhaps, that I heard those bands first, and not Sorrowful, who very much do not fall into that category. What we get instead is something along the lines of Anathemaís debut, but with all the acoustic/clean guitars, female vocals and keyboard orchestrations muted. I consider ĎSerenadesĎ to be a stone cold classic, and while it is nice to hear someone heavily referencing it rather than doing a straight copy as has been so often the case over the years, I feel that those elements that are missing were utterly key to what made it great, and I feel somewhat sorrowful (sorry!) at their absence.

Harsh words to open with, and I think I should state right now that for what it is, ĎIn the Rainfallí is actually a pretty solid, if thoroughly old-school, release. The Anathema influence is not actually as pronounced as it seems at first, but when those minor key harmonies kick in, it is hard not to just picture the young and fresh faced versions of the Cavanagh brothers in my head! There are plenty of fast (double kick) bits that really emphasise the Death part of the equation, and for me at least, these are the most enjoyable parts. Perhaps it is because I listen to a lot less Death Metal and therefore these bits donít sound quite so clichť to my ears.

The songs are all along fairly similar lines, 4-5 minutes in length, a bit of harmonising, a bit of Death Metal, rinse, repeat. It is saved, fortunately, by the execution which is pretty spot on for the sound they are going for. Itís tight enough to sound nice and chunky, but without the gloss that would totally ruin itís early 90ís atmosphere. The vocals rarely stray from the tried and tested death growl which sounds just fine too. The band is a two piece with an unusual split of Guitar/Drums and Bass/Vocals. I wouldnít want to place a bet on which of the two instruments the Guitarist/Drummer favours, as he does a fantastic job of both.

As a short aside, I found the bands history a little interesting and worth mentioning. They actually formed in Mexico in 2009 before vanishing of the radar in 2012, before suddenly reappearing and reforming in Sweden in 2014. I personally have an image in my head of them rowing across the Atlantic over the course of the years in-between, all their gear packed away and ready to be redeployed upon their arrival. Pure fantasy I imagine, but it is a story I would like to hear nonetheless.

I actually think Sorrowful were probably a little unlucky that this landed on my desk, because I know a lot of people that would probably love this, but it just isnít really something that I found exciting for the most part. There have actually been a couple of times when I have stuck it on and quite enjoyed it, but I really had to be in the right mood, and the times where I turned it off halfway through certainly outweighed those where I didnít. Itís probably very much a personal taste thing, so donít just take my word for it! It is certainly worth giving a listen to if you are a fan of the early works in the genre, as it pulls off a pretty good, if stripped back, facsimile.

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Reviewer's rating: 6.5/10


Tracklist :
1. The Last Journey
2. Nothingness
3. Gray People
4. Oceans of Darkness
5. Utopian Existence
6. Frozen Sun
7. The Machine of Desolation
8. The Flight of Mind
9. Eager of Death

Duration : Approx. 44 minutes

Visit the Sorrowful bandpage.

Reviewed on 2015-07-22 by Kris Clayton
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