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Sorrowful God : The Silent Grandeur Of Crystal Ruins. Amen (Re-release)

This re-release of Sorrowful God's mid-'90s Russian Gothic Doom is rather a hit or miss affair.

I have to admit that I approached this release with trepidation. I don't have a good track record when it comes to labels randomly re-releasing esoteric tracks from the '90s on the off-chance that someone will like them, which is basically the case with Sorrowful God's offering today.

It quickly became apparent that my fears were vindicated. My main problem with this album is that the vocals aren't good enough to steer it, which I'm sure you'll all agree is a pretty big problem. It's a shame because the instrumental side of things was generally quite good so the music could have been enjoyable with the right vocals. Mind you, that's me being quite kind because some elements of the mix really bugged me (e.g. the drumming sounded extremely 'tinny'). The vocals were what bothered me the most, though, whether sung or spoken. It's hearing vocals like this that make me believe that I could still be a vocalist in a forgotten Russian Doom band from the '90s, just to put it into some kind of perspective.

In terms of style, Sorrowful God play a form of Gothic/Doom. Again, from a musical perspective, what they do is quite enjoyable, especially the piano pieces. The mix may not be particularly good but those are the bits that stand out as positives for me. It's when Sorrowful God attempt to speed up their play or produce a vocal-heavy composition that I become bothered because it stops being enjoyable.

To put it bluntly, there are some things that Sorrowful God do well and some things that they don't. However, they seem to have no grasp of either. My interpretation is that they've taken a punt on some hazy combination of what they've produced working and it doesn't, basically. They'd need to do a lot more than this in order to impress me, although I won't deny that there are certain aspects of this release that make me believe they're got more to offer.

Ultimately, my view is that Satanarsa took a chance on this band having produced some secret '90s gems that few people ever heard and decided to re-release it. I think they're gravely mistaken if they believe that most Doom fans would enjoy this, so on this occasion, I believe the choice of the label was a poor one. There's not enough quality on the long-winded 'The Silent Grandeur Of Crystal Ruins. Amen.' for me to recommend this release to anybody.

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Reviewer's rating: 5/10


Tracklist :
1. In Faith, In Hope, In Love
2. Blessed Moment
3. The Silent Grandeur Of Crystal Ruins
4. Avrelia
5. Silence, Tonight
6. Amen
7. My Naked Nerve In Your Hand

Duration : Approx. 47 minutes

Visit the Sorrowful God bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-12-02 by Ian Morrissey
Aesthetic Death
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