For those who are familiar with the album, this review may sound rather useless - if ever you venture to read it - because you know well that “Tears Laid In Earth” is beyond words. However, for those of you who are yet to widen their horizons and are looking for something different - music that is serene, unique, experimental, intense and hypnotic - I can just say that this album is a treasure-trove of Atmospheric Doom Metal at its most innovative.
The central feature around which all the other instruments revolve is Kari’s enchanting voice, which, although hard to classify, may be described as a cross between ex-THE GATHERING’s van Giersbergen and ex-THEATRE OF TRAGEDY’s Kristine back in the day. So, there is no overdone soprano singing or overused vibrato (which is usually misused as an ejaculation of emotional surges). A certain New Age vibe permeates Kari’s voice - recalling SECRET GARDEN’s debut “Songs From A Secret Garden” - and enhances the all-embracing tranquility.
Plus, the synthesized arrangements and tunes, reverberating guitar riffs and funeral drumming create a dark ambiance that reflects the morose nature of the songs. Nevertheless, that is not to say that the music offers some sort of a dull sentimental compassion for bereavement or despondency, yet an escape to a dark Eldorado of thought where one meditates one’s loss without looking back.
Moreover, musicianship is rather experimental than technical. Notwithstanding all band members are accomplished musicians, their key concern is how the instrument sounds rather than how it is played. They, however, do not lack the skill to utilize any technique that would give them the desired sound; and, listening to the album, not a single second passes without them demonstrating that they are unquestionably capable of doing just that.
In short, THE 3RD AND THE MORTAL’s debut full-length, “Tears Laid In Earth”, has established the band as one of the most respectable experimental metal acts ever to see the light of day. It takes the listener on an exciting journey through unconventional display of emotions, sensational melodies and, above all, some of the most creative and daring songwriting in the genre. Fans of mid-era ASHES YOU LEAVE; “If Then Else”/”Souvenirs”-era THE GATHERING; AUTUMN TEARS; ELEND or Metal acts with Dark Ambient arrangements, will certainly dig this.
(Online February 20, 2009)