Hailing from Germany, Flowing Tears latest album Serpentine walks the delicate line of gothic metal while dabbling through passages of an almost metal vitality. With eager comparisons to label mates, Lacuna Coil and The Gathering, their overall sound withstands the merits of both. With Lacuna Coil's constant use of redundant chorusing and The Gatherings questionable "nowhere jams" it seems as if Flowing Tears have learned from either bands mistakes and succeeded in writing a substantially solid album that plateaus somewhere in between. With Benjamin Buss's adamant disliking to such comparisons it's obvious he has taken them to heart and managed to set Flowing Tears' sound within the same realm but still a notch above.
Creating moods of somber, Benjamin Buss (Guitars), Frédéric Lesny (Bass) and Stefan Gamballa (Drums) leave plenty of room for Stefanie Duchêne's emotive vocal performance. With tones of despondent setting the pace, the effect strangely enough is far from dismal. An overall warming inspiration transpires through several listens. Songs such as The Marching Sane and For Tonight prove more evocative through Stefanie's even touch of vocal beauty. While Portsall and Justine leave an impression of melancholy mixed with hope. While sticking with a general ambience throughout, each song within Serpentine does carry it's own, never proving to be a clone of another. In a time when unoriginality can kill, Flowing Tears have set themselves aside by creating an album that contains warmth with distance. The affect is graceful and pure. Leaving their songs etched deep in you mind long after you put this one aside.
Bottom Line: Flowing Tears balance on a ledge of intrigue. The album paints a picture of several moods, never quite backing themselves into a corner of predictable. The songs are textured with emotion yet not over done.