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Seasons Of Sorrow - The Awakening

Published Jan. 17 2007

=Staff's pick

Across Bleeding Seas
The Forsaken Prophecies
Penance In Black*

Genre Heavy Metal
Adrian M./Myah R.
Tracks 3
Jesse Day
Runningtime 20 Min.
Jaron Evil
Julian Kencheten
Release Nov. 2005
Evan Rogerson
Country Canada
Tyson Macmillan
Similar artists Iced Earth, Skyclad, Cruachan, Suidakra

Seasons Of Sorrow is a Canadian band hailing from Vancouver and was formed by lead guitarist Jesse Day in 1999. The Awakening is according to the discography at their web page their first demo. However, they have been featured on a couple of compilations as well. With traces of death metal in their sound, they present a version of heavy metal that leads back to the eighties and with the violin given plenty of room, it is what feels like celtic influences added to their music.

What strikes me first is that I find much of the older Iced Earth and Skyclad in their sound, and occasionally it is great old-school heavy metal with some really good intentions, but unfortunately the vocal efforts don't match up to the music. The first song of the three, Across Bleeding Seas, starts really straightforward reminding me of Skyclad and especially where the violin is playing the lead while the galloping rhythms put my mind more towards the early sounds of Iced Earth. What I like about Seasons Of Sorrow is that they let the violin play almost as an important role as the guitars. It is not a matter of letting the violin backing up but instead it is allowed to take the lead as well as playing harmonies. At first I found the squeaking violin a bit obnoxious and sounding out of tune and being out of place, but it grew on me, especially with the twin-parts together with the guitar that comes out really well.

Next song out on the demo, The Forsaken Prophecies, is faster and more aggressive, but just like with the other songs I have troubles with the vocals that are being shared between clean and harsh grunting male ones and a light fragile high-pitched female one. And the only vocals that I found effective are the grunts and partly the female ones, but the clean vocals do not sound any good at all unfortunately. The song itself on the other hand sounds a little like Suidakra, and this eight minute song gives proof of good song writing skills with its complexity and the layers it has. The instrumental parts are dashing at times and with the harsh vocals it is really enjoyable to listen at Season Of Sorrow. The final song, Penance In Black, is the best one on The Awakening even if the violin playing seems to lack a bit of feeling here. It appears to be falling behind the other instruments which are handled well, but the skills of the violin player do not keep up. It features better vocal performances and is more thrash oriented than what the others are and it has the better instrumental parts of the songs.

The production is decent and it is obvious that is a demo and not a professionally recorded album, but the underground sound suits the music from Seasons Of Sorrow, but at the same time I wonder how much better this would not have been being produced by a top-notch producer. The song writing is perfectly fine and if the band can keep this up I don't see why they can't have a promising future, although my advice would be to practice just a little bit on the harsh vocals, put some more confidence in the female ones, and bring in someone else to do the clean male vocals. Leads and solos are the better parts of Season Of Sorrow, and that there is as much of it as it is doesn't exactly hurt. The performance might not be perfection but it is done rather well anyhow.








4 chalices of 10 - Thomas

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