Doom Metal, 2016
With a name like Trees of Eternity, and an album with a title like Hour of the Nightingale, these people either make music for action RPG video games or doom metal. Hey, it’s the latter, although you can argue that video game music these days and doom metal can be sometimes one and the same. I’m not sure what is in store with Trees of Eternity since vocalist Aleah Stanbridge departed this world and took her haunting vocals with her a few months before the release of this album, but given that Juha Raivio, the guitarist and co-founder alongside Ms Stanbridge, had been at this for a bit, I’m sure he’d show up again somewhere in the future.
Ms Stanbridge’s voice is easily the best reason to get this one, as she imbues each track with an eerie, haunting quality that can easily project a sense of forlorn heaviness as easily as more pained and impassioned pitches. The standout track here is Sinking Ships, a gentle track that showcases Ms Stanbridge’s vocals without the distraction of rote guitar riffs and drum tracks.
However, the rest of the tracks here are pretty derivative in themselves – from the key changes to the moment when the drums and guitars come in, to even when the vocals will come in to “ah ah ah” everything with supposed gloom and despair, everything feels rote and mechanical here. The end result are some predictable tunes that make me wonder whether I’ve heard them somewhere else before.
Due to this factory-generated feel of most of the tracks, it’s hard to be enveloped by melancholy and despair like good doom metal is supposed to do. Instead of being moved to etch pained emo catchphrases on one’s wrist with a blade, the tracks here can easily coax me to me lay my head back on the pillow and make my eyelids feel like they are weighted down with all the burdens of the world and… zzzzz…
Hour of the Nightingale will make a perfectly adequate collection of woo-woo tracks with female vocals to replace the more generic tracks of one’s video games, but just don’t expect the music to transport you to the land of beautiful paper cuts and dying unicorns like it is supposed to do.