Metal To Infinity

Well, for the early days of existence of American band While Heaven Wept we have to go way back in time, more specifically to November 1989 when they were formed by masterbrain Tom Phillips who sang and play guitar those days. Actually started as a True / Traditional Heavy Metal act – a lot happened in the camp of WHW the following years (read 2 decades). As the story repeats over and over again, also these guys did not remained saved from line-up changes but one of the most remarkable change was that they decided to walk a more Doom Metal pathway – to work out something more dark and atmospheric minded songs were penned down on the list of future activities. While Heaven Wept contributes on a few compilation albums as well they were strong enough to stand their own ground by releasing a few works of themselves. You can check out the entire discography right HERE if want too. 

Last year in 2009, their latest studio album entitled “Vast Oceans Lachrymose” saw daylight as both vinyl and CD edition through Italian label Cruz Del Sur Music – within their ranks a new singer named Rain Irvin (ex-Altura, Seventh Gate,…) this effort was a must-have for true defenders of Epic Doom Metal spiced with Traditional / Power Metal ingredients. Most reviewers described the album as the band’s best piece so far and I'm fully agree with that opinion.  

This year While Heaven Wept featured on the bill of the 2010 edition of The Hammer Of Doom Festival and thanks to Cruz Del Sur Music who took the great decision to bring on WHW’s performance from the sixth of February 2010 (Posthalle Würzburg, Germany) back alive as both CD and DVD recording. I can only be very pleased with a release like – I wasn’t present when the concert took place so the excellent opportunity to re-live it all again. I’ve heard something about a limited vinyl edition as well but I'm not really sure about that! 

Entitled “Triump: Tragedy: Transcendence Live At The Hammer Of Doom Festival”, the live recording on CD as well as the DVD version of their performance are in my opinion outstanding. Submerged by tons of very emotional, dramatic or melancholic atmospheres, While Heaven Wept belongs on top of my personal favourite Doom Metal list. Due to the very good choice of tracklist, the album reflects a band that is worth to carry the name as Doom Metal Gods. Especially songs as ‘Vast Oceans Lachrymose’ (with beautiful guitar lines in the vein of early US Metal gods Warlord or Lordian Guard), the breathtaking ‘The Furthest Shore Part 1-3’, the great ‘Of Empires Forlorn’, ‘Vessel’ and the long distant runner ‘Thus With A Kiss I Die’ (duration: barely 30 minutes!)  

Due to the band has a new and very good (read excellent) singer within its ranks, former vocalist Tom Phillips can be heard now only as a fantastic deliverer of heartfelt guitar moves (sometimes he reminds me of good old Ritchie Blackmoore in times of early Rainbow fame) – this person’s riffs and solo’s are a pure caress to my ears. A lot of dignity also goes out to the rest of the members mainly Rain Irving’s way of singing is so damn beautiful – he sings with a lot of elegance, very loud and crystal clear… my alley through and through!! But there is a second, more background singer to announce. Michelle Schrotz is her name and besides taking care of the catchy and full of emotion delivery of keyboard moves, she also has a wonderful voice. Both Rain and Michelle’s voices to fit perfectly which results in breathtaking harmonies. 

I truly had a great time listening the CD but the most joyful moments has yet to come… the DVD started to play and I was impressed right away – what I heard on the CD became reality… awesome Epic Doom Metal with Traditional / Power (Progressive) Metal passages brought me in a very comfortable position. Emotional, melancholic and dramatic elements dripping down my TV screen – It felt I was in the middle of the present crowd… nothing but moments full pleasure to announce! One song called ‘To Wonder The Void’ isn’t audible on the CD so a first bonus is a fact but more are underway while selecting the bonus spot in the DVD index zone. An interview, rehearsals, footages and more are coming your way out!  

Be aware of the fact the CD / DVD will be only available as a limited article so don’t wait too long – just  be fast to order this fantastic journey through the valleys of beautiful Epic Doom Metal. Fans of Swedish Doom Metal acts like Sorcerer, Memory Garden, Candlemass, The Forsaken, Atlantean Kodex as well as early Warlord / Guardian Lord or based on the atmospheric parts only, worshippers of early Katatonia (“Dance Of December Souls” effort) will be pleased as well. Check it out and make up your own mind… as for my, fantastic release all the way!! http://www.whileheavenwept.com/  order possibilities via: http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/  

My Points: 90 / 100 (Review by Stefan)