The current rash of bands bringing out EPs before they release an album has become an increasing source of annoyance to me over the last year. A definite case of many acts trying to run before they can walk, the frenzy to release some ‘product’ onto an already saturated market seems to me to be one of the overriding ills of the age. Take Western Australians Advent Sorrow, for instance. Purveyors of dark, twisted, sombre romanticism, they’ve released what may very well be the first ever concept EP, featuring five tracks documenting the descent into madness of a murderous lunatic.
And there’s the rub. Advent Sorrow are clearly a band of ambition, not to mention talent, and this story they tell on Before the Dimming Light is clearly one they feel is worth telling – so why not do it properly, over the course of a full-length album?
But enough of my rant. It’s the music you wanna hear about right? And quite rightly so. As I said, AS are clearly a band of some talent, the five tracks here unveiling a band who, whilst clearly drawing from the same well influence-wise as Cradle of Filth and My Dying Bride are obviously able to add their own twist to the symphonic black/doom/death metal genre. The first three tracks on this EP pass by a little generically, though if that sounds a little harsh it isn’t meant to; They make all the right moves but do little to drag themselves away from the pack of similarly worthy misanthropes churning this stuff out the world over; It’s not until the final brace of tracks, Insidious Memories and Withered by Her Curse that you start to get the idea of what this band may be capable of in the future. The former track rises to a corking, heavily melodic crescendo which will make you stop whatever it is you are doing to take notice, whilst all the pieces fall into place on the latter (which, perhaps not coincidentally, is the longest track on the disc) to deliver a crushing climax to what is an extremely promising debut. Vocalist Rhys King and Keyboarder Tom Langridge both put in man of the match performances on these two tracks, though everyone in the band pulls their wight and makes some nice contributions - Jordan King (bass), drummer Martin Shaw Donnelly and guitarists Tom Waterhouse and James Archibald can all be proud of the part they've played on this release. But can we have a proper album next time please?