‘Tales’ is a Gothic masterpiece, one of the genres best albums of the year so far.
The bands roots lie within the beautiful borders of the Canary Islands, where their earlier recordings were a much more Doom Metal affair. Although Tears Of Martyr have retained aspects of those earlier days in their music, the genre of Symphonic Gothic is a home they now happily reside in.
‘Tales’ is the bands second full length offering and follows on from the 2009 independent release ’Entrance’ which gained a lot of favourable reviews and opened a few doors for the band as well, including opening for such bands as Epica and Draconian.
The first thing that strikes the listener when digesting this album is the vocal delivery of Berenice Musa, describing it as stunningly immense does not really come close. I felt that all too rare shiver down the spine when analysing the songs on this album, I’d even go as far to say that she had the same effect on me as a certain Tarja did all those years ago. Gifted with a rare commodity of being able to inject high levels of emotion and feeling into her voice, Berenice is an absolute gem of a vocalist.
Before we go any further though, you need to know that ’Tales’ is not just about the female vocals, as important as that aspect undoubtedly is, the album deserves and indeed needs to be viewed as a complete package. Take the epic track ‘Golem’ for example, where the male vocal is excellent in setting a dark and sombre mood against a backdrop of strings and chanting, all providing a solid base for the lead vocal to shine. ‘Mermaid And Loneliness’ however is a track dominated by the female vocal, a song that will bring misty eyes to the stoniest of hearts, such epic majesty and imagery is conveyed to perfection.
Away from the Symphonic and Gothic elements, the album is interwoven with beautifully composed quieter moments such as the acoustic ‘Ancient Pine Awaits’, which has strong traditional Folk leanings throughout and is faultless in its delivery. Normal service is soon resumed though, the hard hitting riffs of ’Lost Boys’ proving that the band can produce Metal that punches as hard as anyone else in the genre.
The album flows exceptionally well, each track blending into the next and yet skilfully maintaining its uniqueness and identity.
In a heavily saturated market this album really is worthy of all the inevitable praise and plaudits, if you like your Metal loaded with emotion and storytelling then this is the one for you. Highly recommended.
1. The Scent No. 13
3. Mermaid And Loneliness
4. Vampiress Of The Sunset Street
5. Ancient Pine Awaits
6. Lost Boys
7. Fallen Hero
8. Of A Raven Born
9. Wolves And A Witch
10. Ran Into The Forest
Tears Of Martyr are;
Berenice Musa – Vocals
Miguel Ángel Marqués – Guitar and Vocals
Doramas Párraga – Drums
Adrián Miranda – Bass
Out now via Massacre Records.