I've been looking for a band like ON THORNS I LAY for a long time. They create atmospheric, emotional melodies so well, but never get boring like so many other bands that have tried. This CD is so beautiful that you get lost in the songs so easily, the music just demands your attention.
Violin and piano are used often throughout the disc and blend exceptionally well with the guitars and vocals. The vocals are about 50% spoken male vocals and 50% angelic female vocals. The female singer is really good, and adds so much to the atmosphere of "Crystal Tears". The male vocals, while they aren't bad, aren't the best either. They are sort of whispered through a pretty thick accent making them relatively indecipherable.
The only other thing that I can think of that might be considered negative about this CD is the production. The clean guitar sounds excellent, but the distortion guitar sounds somewhat grainy. I however feel this adds to the overall feel of the CD in a strange way. I actually prefer that the production is how it is. Come to think of it, I wouldn't want to change a thing about this CD.
If you want some highly atmospheric, "easy listening" Metal, "Crystal Tears" is perfect.