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Tender Pain : Second Winter

In our travels of exploration of what the world's Doom underground has to offer to us, we make a stop in Moldova. Now, just how many of you actually knows where it is located? For Moldova is a small country, some would even say tiny, stuck between Romania and Ukraine. Romantics among you will immediately have visions of majestic untamed forests, forgotten and crumbling graveyards, and villages lost in some foggy mountain ranges. Quite Doomy, isn't it? So far, to my knowledge, Moldova has only 3 bands of interest to us: Inferialis (a very known Gothic Doom band from Chisinau, the capital city, that only released a 2 songs tape), Uthopia (a band more in the Traditional Doom/Hard Rock sound, that evolved into a fully Pop-Rock band in the 2000's) and Tender Pain, which I shall review today.

Tender Pain is described as a Doom/Death band, and that's pretty much what they are half of the time. The other half being more along the lines of Progressive Death Metal, under heavy inspiration from mid-period Death (the band). Let's face it, both halves are rather average, being neither better nor worse than any other young bands around here. Luckily for us, there's more Doom/Death in this record, and when they play it, not only do they do it well (for a small record from a small country, it has a very good sound and interpretation), they also sometimes bring new ideas... Though, nothing really new for a record that could just as well have been released in the mid-90's without anyone noticing the differences. The Death Metal parts (mostly the songs 'Devil's Boy' and 'Darkness In My Face') simply are way too much average, sometimes even going into the 'Lam n' Cheese' section.

What caught my ears there is a single track, located right at the end of the record: a Dark Ambient version of the song 'Death-Life'. And this one is absolutely great, even so far as being my favorite from the album. It oozes coldness and some medieval atmosphere reminiscent of the Austrian scene of the mid-90's, something that will appeal a lot to you Die Verbannten Kinder Eva's and Pazuzu fans. Now, if the band were to simply drop their Death Metal songs and mix this talent for Dark Ambient with their regular Doom/Death parts... Now there is one hell of a card to play. Mostly, it would bring to their music feelings, for this is what this album is lacking the most. Never have I felt a crushing sadness, an overwhelming sorrow while listening to 'Second Winter'. Some gloomy parts, but nothing that will bring out the melancholy, with the exception of this single Dark Ambient track. The album is enjoyable, but will be easily forgotten as soon as it will end. Tender Pain is a band that has a lot to say, and should work more on how to do it with feelings. I'm interested in seeing which way they'll take next, as I think that the band could very well surprise me with their next album.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Intro
2. Death-Life
3. The Revenge
4. Devil’s Boy
5. Rest In Peace
6. What Children Fear
7. Darkness In My Face
8. Love Damned
9. V Chernote
10. Someone
11. Death-Life (Dark Ambient mix)
12. Outro

Duration : Approx. 51 minutes.

Visit the Tender Pain bandpage.

Reviewed on 28-01-2010 by Laurent Lignon
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