If you think of Black Metal, the USA usually isn't the first country that pops in the mind. I was quite surprised when I heard the debut-CD of VESPERIAN SORROW, "Beyond The Cursed Eclipse" and found out there were some good things going on there in Texas. Although nothing stellar, that album was a fresh wind in the sometimes dull Black Metal-scene.
Two years after "Beyond The Cursed Eclipse", the follow-up "Psychotic Sculpture" hits the shelves. VESPERIAN SORROW is a band that is best described as highly atmospheric symphonic Black Metal. And wow, this new album is very exceptional. All the things that were lacking on the debut seem to have been faded out, and the result is a great album!! The guitars are very melodic, though always at a high pace, backed up by great drums and some of the best keyboards in Black Metal, reminding somewhat of the older DIMMU BORGIR-days. There is also a dash of electronics included (don't worry, it's hardly noticeable) and some violins (who doesn't have those nowadays!!).
Right from the first song "Solitude", that starts with keyboards and gradually introduces the drums, just to kick off a little bit later, this album is impressing!! Songs like "Spiral Symphony", "Arena Unorthodox" and "Astrodynamica" are all masterpieces, and the album ends with the beautiful keyboard/drum/female vocal-piece "Odyssium". On all songs, the standard is set very high, so really all of the songs can be considered as above the usual standards. Actually, it's astonishing how much this band has improved in the course of two years!!
This is your typical example of a band that has a lot of potential to really grow to become a force to be reckoned with in the Black Metal-scene, and I can recommend every one that likes Black Metal with melodies to check this album out right away!