Tor Marrock are a Gothic Metal band from Wales. This is their second album.
Tor Marrock play Gothic Metal with a plethora of different influences; Black, Death and Doom Metal are all represented to various degrees. The tracks are an interesting combination of these influences and make the band quite hard to pigeonhole in some ways.
For reference points I’d say an unholy mix of Type O Negative, Celtic Frost, Paradise Lost and Moonspell. Essentially it’s an Old-School Peaceville sound updated with a few different elements from some of the aforementioned bands and genres.
The songs are quite catchy and are quite accomplished in the verse/chorus technique. You could almost sing along, if you fancied trying to keep up with the usually gruff tones of the vocalist.
Some of the songs are quite upbeat while others take a slower, more maudlin route. I find I slightly prefer the latter, although the former is almost as good. Songs like Christ Betrayed have the best of both worlds, making this track one of my favourites.
The songs are stripped back and simplified; it’s easy for Gothic Metal bands to pile on the keyboards and other sounds/effects for quite an ostentatious sound, but Tor Marrock have gone for a basic and raw sound, (relatively speaking), making the most of the standard instruments to colour their emotive palette.
Tor Marrock are doing something a bit different with their take on Metal and this relatively short album, (36 minutes), is an individual and charismatic take on the genre.
The 69 Eyes are from Finland and play Gothic Rock.
This is a pretty epic Best Of album, spanning 28 tracks across 25 years. Most bands will never be that prolific.
I haven’t actually heard The 69 Eyes before but they’re certainly a band I’ve been aware of.
As is the case with Best Of albums like this it’s essentially a greatest hits package, and the quality of the songs reflect this.
It shows a remarkable consistency over the band’s long career. Times, style and fortunes may shift and change, but a good song is a good song regardless.
These are catchy, memorable, Gothic-infused Rock songs with personality and choruses aplenty.
The singer has that kind of deep, charismatic voice that is essential for this kind of music and it’s easy to see why he has captivated so many hearts over the decades with his vocal performance.
There is a lot of music on this release, almost 2 hours in total. But even given the constraints of the genre there’s a decent amount of variety here, with everything from up-tempo rockers, moody slower songs and outright ballads getting a chance to shine. The band have suffered no shortage of inspiration over the years, that’s apparent.
From my own point of reference, they combine elements of HIM, Ashbury Heights, Mono Inc., Paradise Lost, Tiamat, Type O Negative, Moonspell and Sentenced; although I’m well aware that it’s probably the other way around in reality.
With such a wealth of riches in one package, if this is your kind of music then it’s hard to go wrong with The Best of Helsinki Vampires.
Lying Figures are a Death/Doom band from France and this is their second EP.
Funereal riffs and Doom melodies are a firm basis of these songs. The winding melodies and dirge workouts pervade the EP like a miasma of misery.
Screaming and growling vocals are used alongside sorrowful cleans to provide a multitude of vocal textures, including a Gothic feeling from the cleans.
The overall feeling is of a band taking the Death/Doom formula and updating for the modern era; whilst it is recognisable as Death/Doom, the band have tinkered with the style enough so that it has a contemporary feel to it.
The songs provide a relatively laid back take on the genre as well, even when the harsh screams and growls are taken into consideration. It’s Doom Metal easy listening, but in a good way. The aggression that they have is contained and channelled appropriately and the songs benefit from this focus of intent.
Lying Figures take elements of bands such as Amorphis, Moonspell, My Dying Bride and Katatonia and fuse them into their own work. Suffice to say, if you like the aforementioned bands I imagine you’ll like this too.
This is an enjoyable EP that bodes well for the future of the band. Let’s see what they do next.