Todesbonden - Sleep Now, Quiet Forest
Folk Rock, Doom Metal
11 songs (55:42)
Release year: 2008
Todesbonden, Prophecy
Reviewed by Goat

As frequent visitors to this site will know, I’m a bit of a sucker for female vocals, especially at their most beguiling and atmospheric, and so Todesbonden immediately win points for their especially wonderful vocalist. Laurie Ann Haus, also of Autumn Tears, has a Lisa Gerrardesque wail that should be scoring films – Epica fans will also love it. In fact, ‘Dead Can Dance meets Epica’ is a perfect sum-up of Sleep Now, Quiet Forest, yet all is not as perfect as it sounds. Bands of this nature generally are better at either the Folk or the Metal, rarely being super-competent at both, and Todesbonden do the Folk much better. There are times when you wonder why they bothered with the rather dull backing riffs at all, as dropping them and allowing the piano and violins to shine through would make for a much better experience.

Despite that, when the music works it works wonders, opening track Surrender To The Sea taking on Nightwish and very nearly winning, with a brief yet perfectly placed guitar solo helping to add to a Doom Metal style. From then on, the Metal is almost superfluous: Surya Namaskara uses panpipes and uses them well, whilst the likes of Aengus Og Fiddle don’t have a riff in sight. The album ultimately stands or falls on the quality of the non-Metallic instrumentation, and as it’s pretty darn good you have to ask yourself what Todesbonden are doing slumming it in the underground when they could be much bigger? As mentioned, the ‘Metal’ elements here are practically an afterthought, meaning that if you’re looking for the next band that takes happy-clappy Folk and marries it to classic Heavy Metal, then you should look elsewhere. Songs that use the guitars well, such as Fading Empire, use it as a backing instrument, lending power to the violins especially to great effect.

If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a band that crafts a gorgeously melancholic atmosphere from Folk elements, fronted by a woman with the voice of an angel, then Todesbonden are perfect. Prophecy are damn good at picking bands that have a genuine emotional tug, and Sleep Now, Quiet Forest will do more than pinch if you enjoy this kind of music. Until the day that the Metal becomes as vital as Laurie Ann’s voice in the band’s sound, however, this is bound to disappoint some. Try before you buy.

Killing Songs :
Surrender To The Sea, Surya Namaskara, Aengus Og Fiddle, Fading Empire, Flow My Tears
Goat quoted 77 / 100
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There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:38 pm
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