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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2017



01. Lacrimosa
- Testimonium
02. Sólstafir
- Berdreyminn
03. Soror Dolorosa
- Apollo
04. Ulver
- The Assassination Of Julius Caesar
05. Myrkur
- Mareridt
06. Sun Of The Sleepless
- To The Elements
07. Moonspell
- 1755
08. Au Champ Des Morts
- Dans La Joie
09. Andras
- Reminiszenzen...
10. Svartsinn
- Mørkets Variabler

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Weeping Silence - Opus IV Oblivion (2015) - Review

Band: Weeping Silence
Album title: Opus IV Oblivion
Release date: 23 October 2015
Label: Massacre Records

Tracklist:
01. Oblivion - Darkness In My Heart Anno XV
02. Ivy Thorns Upon The Barrow
03. Eyes Of The Monolith
04. Hidden From The Sun
05. In Exile
06. Stormbringer
07. Transcending Destiny
08. Bury My Fairytale
09. Gothic Epitaph

The Maltese gothic/doom metal maestros Weeping Silence return after three years since their penultimate album, For The Unsung, with their fourth full-lenght, which they conceitedly named Opus IV Oblivion. The band which was formed back in 1998 this time without any doubt showcases their most elaborated compositional work till date. If I wasn't really hooked by their previous three albums, mostly because their sound was too much of a generic form of "beauty and the beast" kind of gothic/doom metal, now Opus IV Oblivion is a huge step forward for this band, and brings a slight change in their direction, leaning more towards doomier and melodic sound with huge bombastic atmospheres. Maybe a new wind blew inside the band since their former female singer Rachel Grech left and Diane Camenzuli joined the ranks. Two women and five guys of Weeping Silence must be congratulated for this effort they did on Opus IV Oblivion, and if they weren't really recognized as a big player on the scene by metal media until now and they were kept in the shadow of bigger names, I believe that with this album the band has fulfilled all the necessary conditions to make a huge breakthrough in their career. And that's not all, such a stunning production made on this album is to be applauded, and it wasn't recorded and mixed in any of now popular and big studios, but by rather unknown producer David Depasquale at Spine Splitter Studio in Malta, while mastering is done by Andy Horn at The Red Room Studio in Germany, yes it seems that Weeping Silence nothing left to the coincidence.  

Opus IV Oblivion offers nine tracks with a running time of almost one hour, and if you are a fan of "beauty and the beast" gothic/doom metal approach then you might experience one of the highlights in this sector this year, of course with Draconian's Sovran apart. The sound is huge, powerful and dramatic, with many captivating melodies throughout the whole album, while the dark bombastic gloomy ambiances and dense broadening doom metal pace keeps the listener pushed into kind of a mystical, yet romantic world, the pounding drums and downtuned driving bass lines give the necessary dose of heaviness, together with meticulous heavy metalic guitar lines. Like said before, Weeping Silence keep their sound melodic, dense and rich, without losing the dynamics. The melodic factor is in the right balance with the groovier and as well with more sinister - deadly side of Opus IV Oblivion, which is presented by Dario Pace Taliana and his deep growls, but still, his harsh vocals are in a nice symbiosis with powerful, yet emotional and sensitive female voice of Diane Camenzuli, so I can hardly say that the band trespasses the borders of death metal. Even more sinister and dramatic it gets when some male spoken words are used to deepen the ambiance. Thanks also to atmospheric symphonic and gothy synths the whole soundscape and compositions gain kind of an expansive cosmic character which many times draws the listener into an abyss of dark emotional turmoil.

Weeping Silence can't be really credited for originality, but what they do is certainly one of the highest possible levels of gothic/doom as we know it. Already with the opener "Oblivion - Darkness In My Heart Anno XV", the band nicely builds up the tension and drama, also thanks to the use of chilling violin sound. The sound gets a bit similar to early Within Temptation mixed with Draconian in "Ivy Thorns Upon The Barrow", and gets its peak in the overly captivating refrain of "Eyes Of The Monolith", in the melancholic tones and catchy riffs of "Hidden From The Sun", in the haunting, rather popy melody of "Transcending Destiny", and of course in the beautiful nicely building up mystical semi-ballad "Bury My Fairytale", where Diane really embraces with her warm and sensual voice. I can't forget to mention the most dynamic and rather theatrical closing track "Gothic Epitaph". In all of these mentioned tracks the band shines with their doing, but on the other hand there are some letdowns in my opinion. "In Exile" and "Stormbringer" sounds a bit too mellow and don't reach the heights of other tracks.

All in all, Weeping Silence did a very good job on this album. It's absolutely their best one. On most of the songs all of the elements blended so very well together that it's hard to be picky about it if you like the genre. Like said before, if the band was walking the shadows until now, they have proven with Opus IV Oblivion that they deserve all the attention from gothic/doom metal fans and they should be now considered as one of the elite. With a combination of powerful instrumentation, great vocals and dreamy gothic atmospheres, performed by talented musicians like these Maltese girls and guys certainly are you really can't go wrong. Add to all that the fantastic production and interesting artwork, which is inspired by the tomb art at the St. John’s cathedral in Malta, and the true gothic experience is at hand. Recommended!

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Hanging Garden
Album title: Hereafter [EP]
Release date: 7 October 2016
Label: Lifeforce Records

It seems that the creative factor inside Hanging Garden must be on its peak now, as not only one year after Blackout Whiteout, the band is out with a new EP featuring five brand new tracks. In here the band tries to revisit their past, not really returning to their roots, but more likely not forgeting from where everything started. Hereafter is everything that Hanging Garden represent now, it's the unification of their past, present and future and with that the atmospheric sound of these Finns gains further on importance and emotional impression. It's a bit of an experiment, it must be some kind of a crossroad for this band. If Hereafter is a final farewell from extreme sound for Hanging Garden and further dive into the waters designed on their latest album, or is the band thinking to further revisit their roots in the future, only time will tell...

Read a full review HERE