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On Thorns I Lay: Aegean Sorrow

On Thorns I Lay has a long history. If you haven't followed the band closely, here's a brief primer: The band started all the way back in 1992 as Paralysis, changed their name to Phlebotemy one year later, and then became On Thorns I Lay the year after that. Just as names change, so do styles. The band started as a death metal band, but they ventured into permutations of gothic / doom metal and atmospheric death doom. In 2004, the band took a hiatus that lasted until 2015 when they released Eternal Silence, an album that marked a return to the band's roots. With this album, Aegean Sorrow, the band continues to look back on what they did decades ago in the hope of rediscovering their musical core.

I have no idea how to judge the final result. I honestly hope the band is happy with this material and that they will continue to write and perform together. I love it when bands try to create the music they want to hear, as if they were just a bunch of fans jamming in someone's basement.

Now that I've listened to this album for a while, I find that it works pretty well but that fans should know that it has several moods, some they'll like and some they won't. For me, the album works best when it sticks with doom-inspired riffs and tempos. This band is very good at being heavy and some of the guitar riffs are pretty killer.

Having said that, there are other musical ideas here that mix things up in ways that are either really cool or really distracting. This album is definitely surprising; interested fans may want to listen to it a few times before making a final judgment. For me, the musical variety was mostly fine, but I didn't care for the ways the vocals would sometimes whisper and sometimes speak and sometimes growl. If you listen to "Olethros Part I" and then listen to "Olethros Part II," you'll get a pretty good idea about what side of this band you want to hear. I liked Part I because it had a cool riff and a heavy vibe. The longest track, "The Final Truth" was pretty good, as was the title track. The last two tracks are good but might seem out of place to some listeners. I did not like the vocals on "A Sign of Sadness" but I liked the overall melody. It would have been a stronger instrumental.

If I seem torn, it's because the album is interesting but inconsistent. If you liked the band in the past, you'll definitely want to hear what they're doing now. If you are new to the band, you might want to listen to a couple of tracks to see what side of the band you prefer. If you like really mellow music, start with the closing track. If you like it heavy, start with the title track.

Track Listing:
1. Intro
2. Aegean Sorrow
3. Erevos
4. In Emerald Eyes
5. Olethros Part I
6. Olethros Part II
7. The Final Truth
8. A Sign of Sadness
9. Skotos

Added: March 23rd 2018
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 767
Language: english

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