Release DetailsLABEL Recital Records
RELEASED ON 4/29/2003
The Dreams of Yearning
posted on 1/2004 By:
I really need to review something sick and crushing soon, after all this goth/doom/prog music I’ve been covering for the past few weeks. The Portuguese band Ethereal only continues that trend with their melancholy-drenched rock of their album The Dreams of Yearning.
Direct comparisons are eluding me, but I’m reminded of a lighter version of Paradise Lost or Sentenced - with substantial use of chords and acoustics, as well as a healthy dose of atmospheric synths and piano. Vocalist Hugo Soares sounds like Warrel Dane on Nevermore ballads, if Dane were a trained singer. But, there’s just a little hint of that “English-isn’t-my-first-language” flair to his delivery. The focus here seems to be on putting in the effort to write solid songs. They don’t take the easy way out by getting flashy and virtuosic with solos and leads and they never really bring their songs to a strong and distinct climax. The production fits the album well, but it doesn’t really aid their cause. I feel that the songs could come across as more intense with a stronger production, but instead, the whole sound is softened and smoothed over. This all results in an album that is certainly easy on the ears, but it just floats along, never straying too far from the formula, and never fully drawing me in.
On those rare occasions where they do ramp up the intensity, it’s generally effective, such as in the lengthy track “Between Heaven and Earth”. They wisely mix in sporadic female vocals on “The Moon Blesses Our Sins”, my favorite track – a real dreary, goth rock tune with a powerful finish. “A Lonely Dancer” is also worth hearing, and “Released?” provides a fitting string-section outro to the album. There really aren’t any bad songs on The Dreams of Yearning, just too many unmemorable songs. If you’re a lover of the morose, Ethereal may be worth looking in, but there are better bands playing this style.
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