Just another day, I reviewed a band that has been a part of my life for a very long time and the same with the one today. While Heaven Wept’s music has been indeed an important part of my life for many years, it has helped me through hard times and a soundtrack of the better days. I remember when “Of Empires Forlorn” was released in 2003, some days were terrible and I used to drive for hours listening to this album. Even though it was melancholic and sad, it uplifted me in an unexplainable way. When I interview musicians I always ask them how they feel about when they get to know how much their music have helped people though out the years. It must be a wonderful feeling. And what’s more, Tom Phillips must be one of the nicest musicians I have ever interviewed, perhaps the nicest, well; he must be at least on the top-three, hehe.
A little information about the band before I share my thoughts on the release, the band was formed in Virginia, United States in the year 1991. In fact, in 1989 as Dream Wytch. I say this not because I’m some sort of blind fan of the band, but because I truly believe in this, all of the band’s full-length albums are masterpieces. They are, as Tom has stated, true feelings and experiences, honest, real, genuine and not something that he simply “imagined”. And this, in my humble opinion, adds much, much more importance and respectability to his compositions.
If you’re not familiar with my humble writings, first I let you know how I felt about the music, the feelings I could perceive from the album and then I talk about the music. My dear friends, I’m speechless. I have no speech, as it’s said in a Seinfeld episode. “Suspended at Aphelion” is perhaps the most emotional and intense album of the year. There’s so much beauty, melancholy and elegance in this release, I really can’t think of other words to describe it. The music is incredible… I am stunned by the brilliance of the compositions. They feel exquisite, delicate, majestic and passionate; “Suspended at Aphelion” is a grandiose and ambitious release that has reached the highest levels of excellence.
When it comes to the music, I’ve read a few comments here and there stating that the album sounds Power Metallish. I respectfully disagree, it may not be like the Doom Metal the band used to play, but the melancholy and sadness is there, blending Progressive Metal with their well-known polished Epic Doom Metal. This is no Power Metal in my modest view. With brilliant musicianship, While Heaven Wept presents us with graceful and refined songs, filled with several instruments, genres blending which merges with classical elements, haunting and melancholic landscapes, all resulting in something dramatic and breathtaking. It’s also a very atmospheric and melodic album that represents the essence of Tom’s real experiences and sentiments.
As for the album’s production, very clean, very polished, you are able to enjoy all the details and compositions. I end this article by inviting you all to give “Suspended at Aphelion” a chance as While Heaven Wept truly deserves to be heard by more and more people. And if you are pleased with what you hear, I beg you to support them the way that you are able to.
Until next time.
Band: While Heaven Wept
Album: Suspended at Aphelion (2014)
Label: Nuclear Blast
1. I: Introspectus
2. II: Icarus and I
3. III: Ardor
4. IV: Heartburst
5. V: Indifference Turned Paralysis
6. VI: The Memory of Bleeding
7. VII: Souls in Permafrost
8. VIII: Searching the Stars
9. IX: Reminescence of Strangers
10. X: Lifelines Lost
11. XI: Retrospectus
While Heaven Wept is:
Tom Phillips – Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
Jim Hunter – Bass, Vocals
Scott Loose – Guitars
Michelle Loose-Schrotz – Keyboards
Trevor Schrotz – Drums
Rain Irving – Vocals (lead)
Jason Lingle – Keyboards
Official Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/whileheavenwept
Official Website: http://www.whileheavenwept.com/
All photos belong to their rightful owners (Craig Hunter Ross, Florian Hille, etc).November 1, 2014