ESSENCE OF SORROW – Reflections Of The Obscure

ESSENCE OF SORROW - Reflections Of The Obscure
  • 8/10
    ESSENCE OF SORROW - Reflections Of The Obscure - 8/10


Rivel Records
Release date: January 10, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

What’s the face of Power Metal these days? A seven foot muscle-packed guy with a fancy hairdo (irocesian style, maybe?) wielding a battle axe shaped guitar on stage, the skin of his ham-like shoulders bearing countless tattoos of swords and flaming skulls, who’s screaming in a voice so high-pitched that it offers you the question “does this guy still have any balls?” Or is it … Essence of Sorrow?

In times and in a business where it is hard to keep up something like an own identity music-wise, Essence Of Sorrow managed to release a quite pleasant debut album. Reflections Of The Obscure gives you a strong impression on the band’s idols without exactly copying them. Respectively, Masterplan, Evergrey, and Thunderstone seem to be the most obvious ones. Esspecially ex-Masterplan lead singer Jorn Lande has made his impact on the work of singers Matts Leven and Christian Palin. And, in the case of Palin, you can’t make out anything but a slight difference. To sound like Lande is not a bad thing at all, and this sound marks actually the strongest tracks on this album. Besides, the placing of Essence Of Sorrow in the category “Power Metal” is not a convincing one.

Reflections Of The Obscure includes powerful stakkato riffing (so essential for this category), but also bears a futuristic atmosphere created by samples, keyboarding, and sometimes progressively-sounding solo play. These things as well as fine melody are especially to be discovered on the final track, “Come Serenity,” which is a touching instrumental piece. The last one, respectively, got cut short by only lasting for 3:39, and you might hope for more like this on the next long player. Most strikingly, this debut is marked by excellent sound, which is not very surprising if you take a look at the line-up. Already mentioned, Christian Palin (Random Eyes) and Matts Leven (Therion, At Vance), and Mikko Olsson (Wingdom) are no strangers to the business. Mastermind Jani Stefanovic has done a good job in hiring his musicians.

To draw a line: there are no worn out ballads where howling choirs praise epic battles and heroic warriors are spitting out their guts, lasting at least for nine minutes. Is it Power or Whatever Metal? Discover yourself (stop that – I am talking about the album, dude!).


  • Christian Mannsbart

    Christian was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Würzburg, Germany. His brother introduced him to Heavy Metal. Ronnie James Dio’s Holy Diver made a big impression on him right from the beginning, and he has kept bangin' from the age of ten. He also plays the guitar from time to time.

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