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Wine From Tears : Glad To Be Dead

Wine From Tears are an obvious next step for fans of Swallow the Sun looking deeper underground...

I canít help but find the album title 'Glad to be Dead' a bit unintentionally tongue-in-cheek. That impression intensifies when contrasted with the decidedly serious band name, Wine From Tears. 'Glad to be Dead' opens with a ghost-hunting intro whose juxtaposition of electronic equipment sounds over eerie piano provides the albumís eeriest and most atmospheric moment. Itís something one might expect to hear out of Carach Angren. I was prepared for a tense, unsettling listen, but 'Glad to be Dead' becomes a surprisingly inviting, energetic, and harmonic Doom Death album that gets positively upbeat at times.

The first full song, 'Allergic Sun', represents the album accurately: vocalist Alen Nesterov growls and sings melodically over power-chord riffs, while an additional layer of lead guitar is omnipresent, held up by a synth pad foundation and sprinkled with moderate amounts of piano. The albumís course is an exercise in moderation: consistently mid-paced in tempo, heavy but not in the extreme, never dissonant or harsh, and carrying a vague tone of regret and sadness without spiraling into tortured wretchedness or apocalyptic hopelessness. The band also avoids the opposite end of the spectrum, as there are also no ambient passages of gentle atmosphere. Even with the distorted guitars, double-kick drumming, and Death Metal vocals, these Russians have delivered a downright friendly album.

There are no tests of patience here, as there is always something reaching out at the ears: a prominent drum fill, a piano break, or a variation in vocal toneÖand it is this last that I found to be the albumís strongest element. Alen Nesterov is superb at the microphone, employing an effective clean tone as well as a Death growl that distantly reminds me of a much kinder, gentler version Graveís Ola Lindgren. The song' In Memory of the Truth' makes a fine Nesterov showcase, but he never missteps at any time throughout. His voice is double tracked, leading me to guess that a live performance wouldnít carry the same strength, but itís a recording choice that very much benefits the album. On the albumís weakest track, the alternative-rock closer 'Silence No More', Elle Fatihovaís guest female vocal is a highlight alongside Nesterov's.

Wine From Tears are an obvious next step for fans of Swallow the Sun looking deeper underground, and I would also recommend them to fans of fellow Russians Forest Stream. Yet 'Glad to be Dead' feels less intense than most work by the aforementioned groups. At the end, I donít find myself resurfacing after a journey through deepest trenches of despair. Nor do I feel myself coming down from an epic flight through the skies. This is the price Wine From Tears pay in order to deliver an album that is near impossible for me not to like: they traded sheer power and unique character for accessibility.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. For Those Who Died Asleep
2. Allergic Sun
3. What Are You Waiting For?
4. In Memory of the Truth
5. Let Me In
6. Like a Fallen Leaf
7. The Light at the End of the World
8. Silence No More

Duration : Approx. 50 minutes

Visit the Wine From Tears bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-09-21 by Mark
Thermal Mass
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