WHILE HEAVEN WEPT (Chapter One: 1989 - 1999) 2LP
Any faithful Doom-monger must've come across the name WHILE HEAVEN WEPT in one way or another, be it their diverse cherished underground releases, or their many contributions to compilations, e.g. on the now infamous "At The Mountains Of Madness" album. In case you were eagerly on the hunt for all their, mostly out-of-print-releases, your quest has come to an end as this double-LP, released via German Metal Supremacy, captures everything this awesome outfit put out and more. Packaged in a very noble gatefold sleeve, containing extensive linernotes by the main-man Tom Phillips himself, accompanied by a very tasteful layout, this is definitely the ultimate WHILE HEAVEN WEPT release so far! Spanning their whole career from the very beginning, when they still had Death Metal vocals incorporated until their latest offerings with the most bittersweet approach imaginable, this album includes their "Into The Wells Of Sorrow" 7", their "Lovesongs Of The Forsaken" MCD, the split-7" with Cold Mourning, as well as their ultimate masterpiece, namely the "Sorrow Of The Angels" album. As an added bonus, you get a so-called work-in-progress song called "Unplenitude", that remained completely unreleased. To explain to an outsider the immense emotional depth of WHILE HEAVEN WEPT is quite a useless attempt.
Imagine your most desolate melancholic state of mind put to music. Outstanding musicianship crowned by the painfully staking voice of Tom Phillips, who constantly seems to be on the verge of crying his heart out. Lyrically they deal with "positive" themes, such as forsaken love, mourning, sorrow and all kinds of other "uplifting" things, yet there is the point, where WHILE HEAVEN WEPT are different to many other bands, singing about those subjects. I think those topics have been overdone by now for good, and it's not really easy to cover such emotions without sounding too trite or cheesy, but listening to these heartfelt songs, it all just feels so sincere and deep you can't possibly remain untouched. All in all, this is for sure a must-have release for anyone out there, whose heart is pounding for emotional music, that doesn't sound "gay" or wanna-be gothic at all, as this is a shining star among most of today's musical ashes. Eventually there's only one thing to criticise about this double-LP, which is limited to 500 copies only. It's definitely a shame, that the songs on side 2 and 3 have those interruptions in between, as it takes away something from the prevalent atmosphere, and -of course- wasn't like that on the original releases. The label's email address is: metal(at)ancientarts.de
(Opolus XXXVIII AS)