Fear of Eternity - Spirit of Sorrow
Moribund Cult
Atmospheric Black Metal
8 songs (43'15")
Release year: 2006
Fear of Eternity official site, Moribund Cult
Reviewed by Alex
Crap of the month

I am on the binge for melancholic black metal, so with the moniker name like Fear of Eternity and the album title like Spirit of Sorrow, foggy nature cover art, dripping logo and kvlt label support behind it this release had a lot going for it. Too bad the atmosphere that was supposed to “spiral into utter despair” disintegrates into utter indifference and boredom.

Fear of Eternity is a sole effort of one Italian, or more precisely Sicilian, Andrea Tilenni, and Spirit of Sorrow is not the first time he attempts to craft an atmospheric black metal album. Not familiar with the other endeavors I am going to restrict my criticism to Spirit of Sorrow only. This album is a poster boy for those who disparage one-man black metal albums. If you happen to have a synthesizer and can create extreme vocals, that alone does not make for good black metal. It helps sometimes to bounce your musings of a bandmate or two, to see if you have fallen in love with one incredibly bad idea.

Spirit of Sorrow flows at you for 8 tracks without a single tempo variation supported by the barely audible, linear, rhythm keeping, most primitive drum machine. That should be scary enough already. Furthermore, guitars are either non-existent or buried so deep in the mix they are not to be heard either. Andrea allows him some latitutude only with keyboards and enjoys quite a variety of those on the album to devise his endless melodies. He can waltz on Atrocious Pain, have a gothic rock beginning on Silence’s Fortification or go futuristic and spacey on the title track. Fear of Eternity synthesizers range from synthetic and soundtrack-like happy to more organic classic piano sounds. All of this variety is layered in deliberate heaps throughout the album. If you remove the vocals out of this equation we would get a perfect music piece for shuffling screens on Weather Channel, where they tell you how many inches of snow which city will get. An unassuming PBS show could use instrumental passages from Spirit of Sorrow as well. None of that is metal, but that is OK, the trouble is the melodies here all sound similarly lackluster and tiresome. And even if some Weather Channel TV producer wanted to use this as background music, he wouldn’t be able to, because in order to plant the album in the realm of black metal, and apparently to express his emotions, Andrea does some unfortunate vocalizing on Spirit of Sorrow. The vocals here are single pitch toad croaking, and them sounding evil and desperate completes the unfitting puzzle, basically making a mockery of the happy layered synth music. Low budget for mixing and production does not help matters one bit.

It is interesting how inspiring this style can be made by Summoning, and how miserably it fails on Spirit of Sorrow. I am not really angered or disgusted by the album, it just leaves me completely untouched, the only emotion I am able to master is a shoulder shrug. This will end my melancholic binge in a hurry, so, please pass on the blasty goodness.

Killing Songs :
You either will like all of them, or none, like me
Alex quoted 30 / 100
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