The DARK AWAKENING
I just mentioned liking symphonic metal in the review of Woods of Ypres. Well that's where Britain's Crimson Tears takes you.
Now anyone who hasn't heard the sub-genre of metal, a quick explanation is warranted. Take the sound of a symphony orchestra stuck on fast forward, then mix in the driving guitars of metal, and you get an idea of the music. Think the sound track of Lord of the Rings with a metallic soul.
However the real key to the sound are epic lyrics, reminding of the Illiad, Beowulf or the Viking Sagas. They are songs bigger than life, deep in the realm of fantasy, sung with the virbasso of a huge Broadway performance.
When it comes to vocals, Crimson Tears turns to Gina Oldham, a cross between Loreena McKennit and Pat Benatar. This girl must be classically trained, but between classes was obviously listening to rock 'n roll too. Truly a nice voice.
The other members of Crimson Tears are; Dave Miller on electric and acoustic guitar, Steve Taylor on bass, Marcus Chapman on keyboard and piano, Gina Oldham vocals and Trevor Phillips on drums.
The sound here is big – no beyond big, it's huge, full, driving. To see a band like Crimson Tears in concert it would need to be an auditorium where a symphony would be at home.
If you are into classical, and want a little edge, this is for you. If you are a metal fan, that is maturing a bit in taste, Crimson Tears will fill that need too.
As for picking a favourite cut, that is not really possible in the sense a CD such as The Dark Awakening tends to be a complete tale told through a series of inter-related songs. Each is a piece in a grander musical tale. Still cuts such as Frozen, Steal My Heart, Pandora's Realm (Aurora) and Razorblade Serenade are sweet to the 'Nth' degree.
Overall, the sound is fantastic, although maybe not at the very summit of the genre, Crimson Tears shows here they are ascending to the top of the mountain.
Go grab this one. Check them out at www.crimsontears.co.uk
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Reviews first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Sept. 5, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada