Of Empires Forlorn
Review by Jack on August 19, 2003.
While Heaven Wept has been tinkering away in the black void since the early 1990's when they were formed on the back of a few like-minded folks out to explore new musical territory. For While Heaven Wept this means doomy epic passages, grand heavy metal and clean crooning which is quite unique, making While Heaven Wept stand apart clearly from other likeminded sorrowful doom-ridden acts.
Doom metal, for me personally, needs frightfully large amounts of depressing grunts. While Heaven Wept doesn't really fit into this category and are compromised of, at times 'fragile' clean vocals from visionary Tom Philips to convey messages of epic gloominess and heartfelt angst and loneliness. In its own right this is wonderful music and I think unfortunately for those who have not heard of While Heaven Wept they are going to miss out on a lot because they are placed in the moniker that is doom metal. Don't get me wrong, I love doom metal, but I really think these guys are a level above and beyond some of the narrow constrains of doom metal.
There is a lot of 'traditional' heavy metal musicianship displayed on "Of Empires Forlorn" that really demand it be pushed out past the doom legions. Tom's gentle vocals are far from depressing and debilitating and I am afraid to say I feel happy after listening to "Of Empires Forlorn," which obviously shoots to shit the point of doom metal. However, in its own right as a piece of music, I consider "Of Empires Forlorn" to be a fine record.
Bottom Line: Far more than your average doom record "Of Empires Forlorn" is a record that will hopefully reach a larger audience than the tight knit communities of doomsters around the globe. The highly diverse musicianship and gentle vocals of Tom make for a invigorating experience.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 7.4 out of 10