Where She Wept - We Are The Orphanes of Heaven
Self released
Epic Doom Metal
11 songs (59'36")
Release year: 2001
Where She Wept
Reviewed by Alex

This is the kind of weather we have been experiencing in Midwest lately. Oppressive humidity, stagnated and stationary, heavy with moisture air masses interrupted by brief, but extremely violent storms with 100 mph wind gusts. A perfect backdrop to listen to Where She Wept debut titled We Are the Orphans of Heaven.

Where She Wept hails from Buffalo/Niagara Falls, NY area, but I will be damned if they aren’t the closest thing to My Dying Bride the US has to offer. Where She Wept play an epic, slow and sorrowful doom (as oppressive as that humid air hanging outside) with occasional furious black metal outbursts (just like that storm that is brewing). Add in violin and keyboard for a gothic touch and the picture is complete.

Out of nine tracks of the full-length debut there are five long epics, some of them over 9 – 10 min long. These are interspersed with short mood-setting instrumental interludes. Bring Forth the Night has all instruments join slowly in one swirling vortex, With Sorrow I Walk With Thee comes straight from the 17th century ballroom and The Cries of Sin is as mysterious and spacey as they come.

Long epic tracks by Where She Wept are slow and mournful, but they rarely stagnate and become boring. Guitar riffing is elephant ass heavy and it gathers speed as a slow moving train (Thine Own Heart). James’ guitar is the main rhythm driver and is an excellent background setting to weave melody and vocals around. Melody and leads are provided mainly on keyboards by Shelly and violin by Jon. The former conjures some comparisons to Nordic gothic bands, but keyboard sound is not annoying and is mixed properly. Violin, though, is an icing on a cake, a tool that would set Where She Wept apart from other doom devotees. When all instruments merge as In Rain You Fade and We Are Alone … Together Where She Wept creates a melancholic shell of inner self-pity and intense suffering. Violin provides color and range while guitar and rhythm section provides the pulse. At times, the casing is broken by the distorted guitar/bass/drums only parts, or, more extreme yet, blasting drums and black metal explosions (Twilight’s Seduction). These don’t last long, but provide enough shudder and contrast.

Tom’s vocals most of the time are a dead ringer for Aaron Stainthorpe of My Dying Bride. I liked his harsh approach, but he also pursued a moaning gothic angle (Twilight’s Seduction and We Are Alone … Together) which did not endear me as much. Tom’s throaty all-out screams “for the last time” on We Are Alone … Together will send chills down your spine though. The band is about to get what, in my opinion, they will greatly benefit from. Strong clean female vocalist Sarah is about to (or already) join the band. Her bridge at the end of Twilight’s Seduction is a sign of things to come. With Sarah on board Where She Wept can explore more of a gothic slant without the fear of becoming cheesy, as their solid doom roots will keep them grounded.

The demo also has a live recording of The Gathering Sand and Mercury cover (from Mandyllion) and some local enthusiastic crowd chanting “Where She Wept”.

We Are the Orphans of Heaven is not blessed with the best production, but production is not the thing that makes doom metal tick. Passion and conviction is there, and production will come with the budget increase.

I would definitely recommend this band to those into My Dying Bride, early Anathema, Morgion, Mindrot and early On Thorns I Lay. Where She Wept is about to release an EP with another full-length on its way.

Killing Songs :
Thine Own Heart, With Sorrow I Walk With Thee, Twilight's Seduction, We Are Alone ... Together
Alex quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Where She Wept that we have reviewed:
Where She Wept - Dark Beauty and Desire reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
Where She Wept - The Erotic Portrait reviewed by Alex and quoted 77 / 100
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