There was no surprise after I have launched “Ship In Your Trip” – mediocre quality Goth products, lasting for just few minutes each, constitute the record, which is the first one in the Greeks’ career. The several compositions present here will not change the shape of Atmospheric Metal scene especially that most of the time one can experience heavy and melodic stuff of more or less same structure and character as the one that has been delivered from Finland for quite a time. Pretty often in the dialogues between the distorted guitars and delicate, yet clearly accentuated keyboards one can notice inspiration from for instance H.I.M., ENTWINE or SETHIAN. A bit more rarely you might find there some traces of darker musical regions like Goth Rock or even a scent of early KATATONIA (the initial riffs in “I’m Home”). Such moments draw my attention instantly and it is a pity that the band focused too much on delivering their nice melodies without thinking about providing more intricacy or intriguing taste here. It is surely very pleasurable to listen to a catchy tune but how many times one is able to receive the same thing and enjoy it as much as the previous times? It does not help too much that the group come up with a number of solid arrangements in the vocal section, which appear as the most distinguishing feature of SORROWFUL ANGELS’ music in comparison to their Gothic Metal counterparts. Everything is sung clearly and the two singers are sharing their duties performing either in a typically Rock fashion or in a manner that might remind of magnetic, gloomy and disquieting singing delivered by for example Fernando Ribeiro. Another component of the Greeks’ style that might attract one’s attention is adding some guitar solos to the whole package. Too bad that it is only occasionally such a solo lets one forget about the generally simple and worn-out character of this music. In addition to the vocal lines – these are of course very melodic, which obviously makes them a perfect bait for those who are eager to enjoy some easy and listener-friendly efforts.
Also the way all the instrument tracks have been recorded should not scare the selective sound lovers naturally provided that they do not avoid polished productions where the sound is inviting and warm rather than repulsive. Since the vocals are playing the first fiddle here it is no wonder that they are put to the forth in the mix, though, not to a degree that could make it unbearable to hear them. Straight after the vocals we have the guitars, keys and somewhere in the end the rhythm section which seems to be out there only for providing support typical for such songs – just being there without even trying to shine.
There is nothing extraordinary as far as SORROWFUL ANGELS’ debut album is concerned and therefore it seems difficult to recommend it to the fans who know their Goth Metal, unless they rejoice in listening to things that have been created a long time before “Ship In Your Trip” was conceived. It does not mean that the music here is worthless as the band know how to play solid and catchy stuff. It is just the overwhelming lack of originality that hopefully will be gone next time they will release an album.
(Online January 20, 2010)