It was pouring rain outside; the light pitter-patter of each drop on my windows was soothing to my troubled mind. I walked over to the side of my apartment and went to the balcony. It was my favorite part of the apartment, it had a small roof so it could shade me from sun and rain, it had a few small plants hanging and it looked over the old, small graveyard of the church. It was here that I often collected my thoughts and wrote my stories. Today seemed like the perfect day for literature and I began to scribble down ideas for my next novel, something of a dark romance, of love and loss. As I was writing I heard a faint sound. It seemed to go hand in hand with the rhythm of the rain, of sadness, but I could not tell exactly what it was. I looked over the balcony and I stared into the small court of the graveyard, where the larger tombs lay dilapidated. I noticed that the sound seemed to stream from that point. When I arrived at the court the music increased in speed and intensity. I walked towards the tomb and the music became less muffled as I created a small hole in the stone wall. I peered in and gazed upon the somber vision of candles and goblets, roses, blood and wine. It was the music incarnate in symbols. This was the visual representation of “A Gothic Romance” and it was beautiful. I created a larger hole and stepped inside, the music consumed me in its passion and excellence. It was not only a sublime moment of clarity but also a rebirth for both I and the music.
Four years ago in Wales a trio of men created a band out of nothing. This band was to be called TOR MARROCK and play an alchemical mixture of Gothic Metal and Death Metal. They fused together to naturally somber subjects and created a beautiful romance of sounds harkening back to old PARADISE LOST. They released a large demo titled “The Death Of Summer” last year and created a mild splash in the scene. In anno 2007 they have returned not only with an improvement, but a massive one at that. In fact I had a hard time believing this was the same band as the only thing binding the two is the sound, but the quality, talent, songwriting and performance as a whole has improve drastically. “A Gothic Romance” is a shining achievement of Gothic Metal, embracing both minimalism and romanticism as tools for creation.
The album is not perfect; however there are a good amount of songs that can only be described as perfect. Take for example the future classic “Lower The Death”. Seamlessly blending Doom/Death/Gothic together in a perfect blend of Aggression and Passion, this song is fantastic and flawless and the lead guitar alone brings tears to the eyes. Or “Throw Yourself Into Our Empty Well” which conjures images of pure despair that can only be heard to understand. The emotional charge of each song can be felt in the pain of Tor Marrock’s vocals, while the battery delivered by Forseen is hard and aggressive while never taking center stage and leaving that for Tor’s guitar and Cailleach Bheur’s bass.
An evolution of Gothic Metal and a perfect blend of Death and Doom, “A Gothic Romance” plays the sorrowful tune oh so well. The whole experience is saddening and mind altering, as TOR MARROCK shift back and forth from the psychedelic to the real and leave the listener tripping in the void. A fantastic release that I knew would eventually come out as TOR MARROCK was capable of creating a masterpiece from the beginning. Truly a fantastic experience if you have the capacity and patience.
(Online March 2, 2008)