YEARNING play a sort of Gothic/Doom Metal; a style of which I have never been much of a fan. But this album may change my opinion on that, although I must say that this album is somewhat unfortunate from the listener's perspective (how clever is that? Listener's perspective! Right, not clever at all…) in that it ranges from moments of brilliance to moments of extreme weird-ass-ness. For example, if my memory serves, the first track contains the only occurrence of Death-growls and they are only used for part of the song. Also, somewhere around the middle of "Soliloquay II" there is a break where there are just several REALLY ANNOYING layered vocals babbling away, making me avoid what would otherwise be a pretty good track.
Now that the negatives are out of the way, I'm free to express the very intriguing aspects of this album. First of all: the cover art. It's nothing short of amazing. Jean-Pascal Fournier is one excellent artist. The musicianship is quite impressive; especially the drumming, incorporating fluent time and tempo changes, adding a dynamic component that makes for an interesting listen. The songs are melodic and majestic, and are well written for the most part; the first three songs are excellent as is "Eyes Of The Black Flame". The songs in the middle seem somewhat disorganized, and they give the impression that the band was trying to cram a level of complexity into them, but they are far from being bad. However, there seems to be something missing on this album, perhaps an overall focus. The songs are not all that consistent, and they don't always flow.
Conceivably, if YEARNING tried to focus their songwriting and style they could become a force to be reckoned with, but until then there's a little work to do.
I've been told that YEARNING's previous releases (specifically, "With Tragedies Adorned") are better than "Plaintive Scenes", so you may want to check them out before you shell out some greenbacks for this one.