As much as I am excited to see Black Mark get back into action, the jury is still out on whether the label is going to spend time uncovering and pursuing talent, or it will become an outlet for the release of the “related” bands. The Man from the Moon was, at the very least, puzzling and had little to do with metal, but the fanfare was loud. Jennie Tebler of Jennie Tebler’s Out of Oblivion happens to be the little sister of Quorthon (real name Tomas Forsberg), RIP. Needless to say that Quorthon was Bathory, the latter being the flagship band of Black Mark label back in the days.
When you insert your name into the band’s moniker the effect is dual. My first question would be: is this the band or a solo project with hired session musicians? Another point: if the record is a success, the praise would be laid at the feet of the aforementioned individual, but any slight criticisms would also target the main name on the ticket, whether it is fair or not.
Till Death Tear Us Part is in no way a bad, tasteless or poorly executed record. It is quite well crafted and is pleasant to listen to, but it very much feels like the product of genre novices who tried to deviate little from the rules of gothic rock. In the old Russian war movies, when they showed soldiers escorting prisoners, the former would always say: “Step to the right, step to the left, I’m going to shoot”. Jennie Tebler’s Out of Oblivion obviously did not want to be shot, as the band took very little or no risk at all. Till Death Tear Us Part is cliché personified and is as formulaic as they come.
The pattern of the song construction is oh so obvious here. The intro, sometimes heavy (Brand New Start), sometimes presenting the song’s main riff, sometimes acoustic (Never Stop Crying), followed by the dreamy lighter fare verse and heavier, distorted thick guitars laden chorus. Weightiness and substance of this record often comes not so much through riffs complexity and composition, but via heavy brawny sound of the guitars (read Type O Negative and Tenebre), a positive nod to production. Offered throughout, at very much the same mid-pace, tempo changes practically non-existing, the formula has little ability to send shivers down one’s spine, unless a song comes up with a nice hook. In this regard, there are some compositions on Till Death Tear Us Part which are clearly better than others. Brand New Start, swirling an resolute Demons Ode, touching tribute to Quorthon Never Stop Crying and Enchanted with its extra heavy bite in the guitars and another subtle level of atmosphere are way better than sleepy and meandering Queen of Ice, Mistake and choppy-turned-spacey experimental Release Me.
Jennie herself is neither a drag nor the attraction alone worthy the price of admission on this album. From slight physicality (Brand New Start) to resounding girliness (Demons Ode) to an attempt at a more angelic voice (Enchanted), Jennie Tebler shows why she was brought in as a guest vocalist on Lake of Tears, and could perfectly replace the ladies in Beseech or Midnattsol, but also why she alone could not strap Till Death Tear Us Part on her back.
I can see myself recommending the record to the die-hard gothic rock/metal fans who have to have everything in the genre, even can imagine extracting a couple of tracks for the 2008 Gothic Rock/Metal compilation, but revolutionary and exemplary album Till Death Tear Us Part is not.
Killing Songs :
Brand New Start, Demons Ode, Never Stop Crying, Enchanted
|Alex quoted 69 / 100|
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