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While Heaven Wept - Suspended At Aphelion

Label: Nuclear Blast
Format: CD download
Released: 2014
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 7.5/ 10

The opening sounds of violin, soothing synth and acoustic guitar lead into ‘Icarus And I’, the initial proper song. Like shifting tectonic plates, sub-genres mount, as the boundaries of “heavy metal” continue to expand. As in nature, this friction often causes violent eruptions, maybe even lava flows (a force that destroys as it creates), as While Heaven Wept has never been a metal band, in any conventional sense of the word.


A dynamic record, from the nearly a cappella (sporadic acoustic picking) of ‘Heartburst’ to the aggressive vocals and full band percussion on ‘Souls In Permafrost’ and the final third of ‘Ardor’, outside progressive circles, much of the early Internet banter was negative. Me thinks they just don't understand. This is not a party record, rather a melancholy, alone time soundtrack for introspection. Only one of the final six compositions lasts longer than 2:40. The instrumental ‘Indifference Turned Paralysis’ gallops out of the gate, all instruments blazing, then to a mere second's dead stop, punctuated by acoustic flourish and back to the frenetic, hypnotic free-for-all. Whether voiceless or not, the omnipresent quantity here is an amazing sense of melody. Ultimately, this really is an old school “album”, meant to be heard in its entirety, rather than a sampled collection of individual tracks. Put in the time, it's well worth it!

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