Todesbonden - Sleep now, quiet forest 2/5

Reviewed: 7-25-08


1. Surrender to the sea
2. Surya namaskara
3. Trianon
4. Aengus og fiddle
5. Fading empire
6. Ghost of the crescent moon
7. Flow my tears
8. Sailing alone
9. Lullaby
10. Battle of Kadesh
11. Sleep now, quiet forest

Todesbonden is a fairly new band from the U.S. and 'Sleep now, quiet forest' is their full-length debut. I was really excited to hear this, as the band features female vocalist Laura Ann Haus and guitarist Jason Wood from Rain Fell Within, a dark symphonic/gothic metal band that released 2 CDs but split-up earlier in the decade. Though the Rain Fell Within CDs are far from mind-blowing, they're solid and the female (soprano) vocals are truly magical. So already being a fan of Laura's voice, I was definitely excited to get this spinning.

Unfortunately (to get right to the point), this debut hasn't matched my excitement and anticipation. Musically, we get an atmospheric/ethereal variation of a blend of symphonic metal, gothic metal and doom metal, with a fairly wide range of instruments incorporated. There are a lot of songs with strings (mostly violin), some acoustic segments, and there are many piano parts as well (performed by Laura). It's certainly more classically influenced than what I usually listen to, and in fact, much of the CD is too instrumental and there are numerous non-metal portions.

The best band comparison to Todesbonden is probably Tetriconia, though Tetriconia is catchier, heavier, much more exciting, and has those powerful choirs, which aren't found on 'Sleep now, quiet forest'. The CD rarely picks up the pace (even to a mid-paced tempo), is missing hooks, and overall will be too slow and too light for fans that are into the upbeat and exciting female fronted symphonic/gothic metal style. The first half of the CD is better than the remainder, but a lot of this has to do with the fact that it begins to get boring and lose the little amount of steam it had in the beginning.

Despite the lack of excitement and an even greater lack of anything memorable, the one highlight with this CD is definitely Laura's vocals. She sounds terrific and is surely one of the better female vocalists from the style. Unfortunately, without solid songwriting to back her up, even she couldn't save this CD from becoming a disappointment. This is listenable if in the right mood however, and I wouldn't call it a horrible CD. It's just not even close to catchy, exciting or memorable, and therefore is not recommended if that's what you're looking for, especially when there are so many excellent female fronted symphonic/gothic metal bands already out there to explore.




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