» Cdreviews  
« back

Essence Of Sorrow - Reflections Of The Obscure

Published Dec. 08 2006

=Staff's pick

Face Of Death
Mind Control*
Essence Of Sorrow
Supreme Oppression
Trail Of Tears*
Come Serenity

Genre Heavy Metal
M. Levén/C. Palin
Tracks 9
Jani Stefanovic
Runningtime 42 Min.
Patrik Gardberg/Plec
Label Rivel Records
Andreas Olsson
Release 10 Jan. 2007
Rolf Pilve
Country Finland
Mikko Härkin
Similar artists Divinefire, Nocturnal Rites, Therion

Jani Stefanovic must be a restless man considering all the productions he has been involved in lately. With DivineFire he has released three albums in two years and in January two new albums penned by Jani will see the light of day. One of them is a death metal project named Miseration and the other one is Essence Of Sorrow which I'm about to describe for you right now.

Essence Of Sorrow was founded in 2005 by Jani Stefanovic and at first it was only him and a bunch of session musicians. The recording sessions for Reflections Of The Obscure took place in various studios in Sweden and Finland during 2006. At the end of the recording a permanent line-up of Essence Of Sorrow was found but on the album a lot of session musicians are heard, such as Mats Levén (Krux, Therion, At Vance etc.) and Andreas Olsson (DivineFire, Narnia, Rob Rock)

The musical direction Essence Of Sorrow has taken could be described as dark and melancholic heavy metal in up tempo. Jani's background in the death metal scene can also be found but since there are only clean vocals on this album the similarities stops right there. Speaking of which, the vocals provided on a 50/50 basis by Mats Levén and Christian Palin are this album's strongest asset. They both provide dedicated and impressive singing throughout the record. At first I looked upon the song writing as uninteresting, without hooks and without variation. This is however one of those albums that you have to grant some extra time in the CD player to fully blossom and grow. The fifth time I heard Reflections Of The Obscure it took a huge lap from my initial feelings towards it as a boring and uninteresting piece of plastic. I have no idea what really happened, but just suddenly gems like Mind Control, Mirror and Trail Of Tears was there seemingly from out of nowhere.

The performance and arrangements is of course top notch all the way. The production is good but a bit edgy with too much treble which have a negative effect on the heaviness, I would prefer a warmer and heavier sound. As for the song writing a bit more variation and stronger hooks is also things on my wish list. Apart from those details I am quite impressed with what Essence Of Sorrow has come up with here. The album needs some time to grow but I advise you to give it some chances because it might just be worth the wait.






7 chalices of 10 - Hawk

Related links: