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Amber Tears : When No Trails

With this release, Russia's Amber Tears add to their catalogue of long, melancholic Death/Doom works.

Formed in Penza, Russia in 2002, Amber Tears have returned with their third full-length album, 'When No Trails'. It is a return after a fairly lengthy hiatus, their last release being way back in the blissful pre-Covid-19 days of 2010. For those unfamiliar with their sound, they've cultivated a melodic Death/Doom style that is heavy on melancholy atmosphere and long, epic tracks.

Opening track, 'Sing The Wind, Sing The Raven' is, as the title suggests, a soaring, atmospheric number. Beginning gradually with the harsh, ominous cries of what is, presumably, the titular bird, it's a slow burner with a nice mix of clean and harsh vocals, that deftly maintains a balance between aggressive and melodic passages. Neither is overdone, ensuring a satisfying listen for those that enjoy the melodic Death/Doom genre. The vocals are solely in what, in my ignorance, I assume is Russian, but the lack of clarity for those of us lacking an understanding of the words does not detract from the overall experience. Unintelligible vocals are not a novelty within the Death/Doom genre regardless of the language they are bellowed in. The music speaks for itself.

Some tracks have more impact than others, but there are certainly no real low points. The album peaks at around the halfway stage with the gargantuan 'In The Whirlwind Of The Last Days' which is a long and dynamic journey encompassing acoustic guitar, clean and growled vocals, and some brutal riffing. Clocking in at over 9 minutes, it's the album's centrepiece, and given the current pandemic, it feels like an eerily prescient choice of song title.

If you are a fan of melodic Death/Doom, 'When No Trails' is certainly worth checking out. Let's face it, a lot of us have a bit more time on our hands at the moment, and even those of us resident in countries that are gradually beginning to take tentative steps to open up again, are likely to have more time at home. And what more productive way to spend that time, and bring solace to our melancholy spirits than checking out vast amounts of Doom from around the world?

Overall, 'When No Trails' is an interesting and accomplished release that is nuanced and well-balanced enough to overcome any language barriers and produce a solid blast of melodic Death/Doom.

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Reviewer's rating: 7/10


Tracklist :
1. Sing The Wind, Sing The Raven
2. Where I Stayed
3. Whirlwind Of The Last Days
4. Under The Stars Light
5. Where There Is No Spring

Duration : Approx. 40 minutes

Visit the Amber Tears bandpage.

Reviewed on 2020-06-01 by Nick Harkins
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