Eternal Tears of Sorrow
Children of the Dark Waters
Style: Gothic Black Metal
Release date: May 22nd 2009

After 6 albums and a career spanning 16 years (including a 4-year split), the music of Eternal Tears Of Sorrow has evolved at a relatively slow pace. For those who’ve yet missed out on the band, we’re dealing with dark but highly melodic Black/Gothic Metal full of mellow (i.e. ‘melancholic’) passages. “Children…..” keeps to this brief by offering a captivating and versatile set of well-written songs.

The keyboards remain an important aspect of the band’s style – in contrast with most bands of the genre, there is less focus on symphonic sounds in favour of acoustic piano arpeggios. Several great guitar licks also help keep the album’s level above average.

This album sees ‘clean’ vocalist Jarmo Kylmänen become part of the band’s official line-up after having already collaborated with EToS in the past. Songs such as ‘Diary Of Demonic Dreams’ reveal Jarmo’s technical excellence in melodic parts, especially where higher vocal notes are involved. Incidentally this song must be one of the album’s best and only slows down in order to enable some backing female vocals to embellish it.

The lyrics of “Children…..” are dark and introspective, with a significant inspiration from nature in the construction of metaphors for ongoing internal struggles of the themes’ character/s. In context of the sleeve artwork, these lyrics seem to point at the tragedy of the ‘children of Bodom’, referring to the mysteriously disappearance of a group of children in the vicinity of Lake Bodom, in Finland. (Now where have I heard of that lake before……..) I must stress that this thematic background is only my personal interpretation.

To be honest I continue to prefer the infectious songs of the 2000 album “Chaotic Beauty” but “Children…..” possesses a great balance of atmosphere, technical execution and personality. It’s a record unlikely to gather dust.

01. Angelheart, Ravenheart
(Act II: Children of the Dark Waters)
02. Baptized by the Blood of Angels
03. Tears of Autumn Rain
04. Summon the Wild
05. Sea of Whispers
06. Midnight Bird
07. Diary of Demonic Dreams
08. When the Darkest Night Falls
09. Nocturne Thule
10. Sea of Whispers (Acoustic Reprise)
Label: Massacre Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: May 19th 2009