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5.0 out of 5 stars utterly brilliant, 10 Dec. 2010
Hedon (Eternal Night) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Before the Bleeding Sun (Audio CD)
I first got into ETOS with their album Choatic Beauty, which i enjoyed very much. Much as i liked that album, nothing could have prepared me for the utterly spellbinding experience that is Before the Bleeding Sun.

Having split for a few years, Beyond the Bleeding Sun features a modified line up and as such the sound has changed a bit. Some of the harsher death metal elements have been held back a bit, which some of the symphonic and melodic elements have come more to the fore. However, rather then being a watered-down affair, Beyond the Bleeding Sun really, really works for the band, giving them the most complete, mature and wonderfully balanced sound of their career. Having pulled back the aggression a tad (and it only is a tad as there's enough double bass and deathly croaking to go round) and giving more space for the keyboards and symphony parts brings out a much better realised and complete version of the ETOS sound, one that feels a lot fuller and more textured then Chaotic Beauty. Forget anything you may have heard about ETOS sounding like Bodom or Norther; this kind of combination of the melancholy melodic death of Insomnium married with the operatic brilliance of Nightwish's best efforts. Throw in a bit of Skyfire and Kalmah too, maybe. The keyboards and symphonic elements are some of the best i've ever heard in a metal band, as Janne Tolsa sets the mood perfectly from symphonic bombast to gothic ambience and everything in between. I'm not joking, his playing is absolutely angelic. But this doesn't mean the guitar playing is slouchy either as the busy riffing of Lost Tune of Thunder and Tar Still Flows attest. In fact, the guitar playing is pretty fantastic throughout, especially the harmonised solos and leads. Overall, such a complex yet balanced blend of operatic beauty and sorrowful melodic death metal really stands out agains their peers.

However, the one thing that astounded me above everything else on this album was the faultless use of clean vocals on some of the tracks. I always felt on earlier ETOS albums that the clean vocals didn't quite fit and were a bit forced, but they flow seemlessly on tracks like Red Dawn Rising and the epic closer Angelheart Ravenheart and really add yet another layer of brilliance to an already complex and diverse sound.

This album screams quality and masterful musicianship in every regard. From the great riffing, the wonderful keys and fantastic songwriting to the captivatingly gothic atmosphere, the great clean vocals and Altti Veteläinen's distinctive dealthy croacking, this is top notch melodic death metal and one of the best example's of the genre i've heard in a long time. I still need to check out A Vrigin and a Whore and Children of Dark Waters, but i think Beyond the Bleeding Sun is probably ETOS's best. I've had this for almost a year now, and it is still one of my all time favourites, and an album i fondly revisit time and time again. If you like this style, you can buy with confidence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my most special albums!, 31 Dec. 2008
M. Pereira (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Before the Bleeding Sun (Audio CD)
This album is the best album of the whole EToS catalogue, and possibly a contender for being the best of its genre; which leads us to a followup question, what genre exactly is this album?

This album contains symphonic elements, but it would be hard-pressed to call it 'symphonic metal', to the likes of overly orchestral bands like Nightwish. This album contains a light amount of death metal (oxymoron); it is an accessible melodic death metal band for the newcomer, and yet offers a lot to chew on for the seasoned metalhead.

Many of my friends I have converted to EToS through this album, and they are not particularly into metal generally. This album has all the elements which tick boxes for me, strong harmonies, dark and thoughtful lyrics (even beautiful at times), guitar solos, killer basslines and drumming, good vocals. Marco Hietala and Tony Kakko [of Nightwish/Tarot and Sonata Arctica respectively] provide backing vocals in some of the tracks. This is an album which changed a lot of EToS' compositional style and makes them the par excellence of metal.

I cannot recommend this album any more, although some negative points may be raised (just for the sake of it):

The studio quality of the audio has been complained about in some reviews, although I quite like it given the nature of the keys and vocals

This music is very sentimental, perhaps too sentimental to be listened to all the time. This is like a 'fine wine': drink it properly and not too much.

Eternal Tears of Sorrow is a band that fits uncomfortably in certain genre labels: Goth, death metal, symphonic etc.

They really do set the standard for what heavy metal can be, and very few other bands meet it, in my view.
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Before the Bleeding Sun
Before the Bleeding Sun by Eternal Tears of Sorrow (Audio CD - 2006)
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