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The Sins Of Thy Beloved are a relatively unknown Gothic Doom metal band from Norway formed in 1996 by group of friends Glenn Morten Nordbø, Arild Christensen and Stig Johansen and were originally called Purgatory, which was quite a well used name. Last.FM says there where at least 15 bands that share the name, so it was changed into The Sins Of Thy Beloved. Anita Auglend and Ola Aarrestad joined the band and then they worked on their first demo. Later on Anders Thue and Ingfrid Stensland joined a bit later on leaving with seven of them to work on their albums. Although not always considered as an official member, Pete Johansen was an active guest musician who provided the violin playing, that for me made their music work. The violins are important part of their sound so I would consider him an official member.
Anita Auglend - Lead vocals
Glenn Morten Nordbø - Guitars and vocals
Ola Aarrestad - Bass
Stig Johansen - Drums
Arild Christensen - Guitars & Vocals
Anders Thue - Piano and Keyboards
Ingfrid Stensland - Piano and Keyboards
Pete Johansen - Violin.
They haven't released that much in their fifteen years of work. A demo CD, an EP and two albums, live VHS and live CD that were poorly distributed. Since Anita, Ingfrid and Anders left, their activity rapidly decreased to a point of hibernation. They did the occasional performance, but the mysterious third album that was apparently in the works has yet to be released. Even Pete wants a reunion.
Their studio albums are somewhat easy to find. They're both on itunes, Ebay, and Amazon for under a tenner each but no results were found on HMV when I typed The Sins Of Thy Beloved. You may see their albums show up on record fairs though the prices will vary.
The Sins Of Thy Beloved's debut album, Lake Of Sorrow was a very beautiful but far too depressing to appeal to a wider range of potential listeners. It's fanbase is small yet very faithful. Despite years out of the limelight, the majority of the fans believe that one day they will return with a new album. The most recent thing that was announced was that the lead singer, Anita had returned to the band in 2007. Still no new material has been released which questions the reliability. An interview published on the fan-site says that they all remained good friends but the touring tired them out.
Their current activities as a band remains a mystery. I have a feeling that they've disbanded, but no one from the band or the management have confirmed or denied this. Perhaps the other band-mates who left may have re-joined or they may be currently playing some songs in a camp in Norway. It leaves a lot to the imagination.
I'm quite a late fan. I first heard them on youtube last year with their song, All Alone and after listening to other of their songs I decided to get a hand on Lake Of Sorrow. I was impressed with the combination of brutal growls, Anita's high-pitched voice, and heavy instruments trying to blend with the violin. It convinced me to buy their next album.
Perpetual Desolation is their second and most recent album. It was recorded and mixed at Sound Suite Studio from September-October 1999 and released in 2000. It was also produced by the band themselves with the assistance of Terje Refsnes. All of the songs of the album were written by the band themselves apart from the last track, or penultimate track for the Japanese version that had a bonus track called, "World of Day." The last track on the standard version is a cover of Metallica's track, "The Thing That Should Not Be," from their album Master Of Puppets which is highly considered a classic metal album.
They've had their thesauruses out on this one. I sometimes had to look up some of the words to find their real meaning. Like Perpetual Desolation which means Never ending misery.
I quite like the design and inlay content. The cover is quite odd as it shows the lead singer, Anita concealed in some machine and wearing rather odd cloak with cleavage in show. The artwork, design and lettering were done by Tor Søreide Design and the photography was done by Petter Hegre. The work is quite modern and doesn't look dated.
The leaflet also has a good amount of information and detail that has been decently displayed visually. It includes lyrics, photos of the band, and a lot of credits at the back, which helped a lot when gathering notes for writing this review. It also includes a website, email and address which would have been very useful at the time, but the website is down and I don't think the address and email listed is used by them nowadays.
One thing thing I found strange was that it didn't include lyrics for the Metallica cover. It would have been very useful for those who didn't comprehend what they were saying. I quite like how the butterflies were included in the design, even though it looks out of place.
In terms of style the Beauty and the beast vocal styles are still use, an interesting blend of classical music and black metal. Which makes some parts of the songs rough while others soft. Anita's voice makes the tracks soothing while in some tracks it seems that Glenn and Arlid are having a competition of who can sound the most frightening.
1) The Flame of Wrath * * * * *
"My thrust thriving beyond can I elude this need."
The album starts with the longest track on the album. I think it's strange how the longest track of the album is put first, but it's a good track. It starts with very obscure screeching followed by violins and an eerie electronic side. With the haunting opening the guitars kick in along with the brutal vocals that are much known as growls or death grunts. The track then swifts into a much soother mood when Anita sings. The lyrics are quite overpowering and over the top at times. They look like erotic poems on paper, but the sins have made it turned into a very haunting lust song. There's some sexual moans on this track so it's best to keep it away from younger children and sensitive listeners. I personally think the best thing about the track is Anita's cackles of laughter and how they turn into these wails of pain. It had a very ironic twist.
2) Forever * * * * *
"Now my angels sing for the darkness."
This is my definite favourite from the album. There were no singles from this album, but if there ever was, I think this would have been a lovely choice. I love the blazing violins and I think they help make this song very catchy but also beautiful. It's very up-tempo but it still contains a powerful impact. The vocals and guitars are at their peak on here. It remains to be rough and smooth at the same time. I have this song as my alarm as the loud energy in the song wakes me up. I quite like the lyrics on this song as well. The violins are very powerful help build up the wonderful atmosphere.
3) Pandemonium * * *
"Darkness enshrouds the sky."
This sort of kills the flow of the album. It starts with vicious vocals. I didn't like it at first but after a few listens I began to like it, but I still don't adore it despite the lyrics being quite strong.
4) Partial Insanity * * * *
"Suspended into my sanctuary."
The lyrics on this track remind me of some of the bands this band of often compared to such as some of the early works of Theatre Of Tragedy who use the old English language that makes me think of Shakespeare. This is a much more emotional song and it becomes obvious with the spoken parts where Anita sounds like she's almost close to tears. I like this track and the industrial metal influences here and the morbid violin solo.
5) Perpetual Desolation * * * * *
"Behind my blissful eyes a desolate soul conceals."
A very strong introduction that quickly leaves an impact. Strong death metal track with the addition of Anita's vocals, even though she only has one line. It's ends the first half of the album and introduces the second half with obscure haunting music. I quite liked the addition of Anita yelling on this track. Good, but very creepy.
6) Nebula Queen * * * * *
"I will take thee to my cave. My cave of love and hate."
The flow to to Perpetual Desolation to this track was very well done. This songs like this track and the previous track were one track but split apart. I quite like the use of chimes on this track. Very eerie, mysterious and solid lyrics on this track.
7) The Mournful Euphony * * * * *
"Mist benights the horizon."
Less scary compared to the previous tracks. I quite like it and the vocals are easy to understand. The lyrics are quite good and they use a lot of adventurous words on here. It's moderately paced and has a strong vibe of sorrow in it. Very lovely build up to the violins. The pace eventually slows down whenever Anita sings, which is quite common in their songs and they like to add the violins in whenever is pleases them. This track dose get quite repetitive at times, but I really love the fusions of different styles on this track. There's a small amount of techno at the beginning, some classical vibes from the violins and a lot of various metal styles like death, black and gothic. Somehow it manages to flow well.
8) A Tormented Soul * * * *
"My own little word I hide away. I feel no pain I hide away."
A very sad song with lyrics just as tragic. Some very extreme metaphors and murky production. I like the rawness and emotion portrayed in this track, but it's not something I would usually have on repeat.
9) The Thing That Should Not Be * * *
"Hybrid Children watch the sea."
It's not very easy when you cover from established classic bands like Metallica. Sometimes it can work just fine and other times it can turn out to be really awful. This falls into the middle. It's not awful, but's it's not outstanding either. Instrumental wise, it doesn't bring much new to the table. I was somewhat disappointed because the vocals gave it an interesting mix but nothing truly stood out for me. I still liked the haunting vibe The Sins Of Thy Beloved gave to the song. The original from Metallica is worth a listen.
10) World of Day * * * * *
A Japanese bonus track. I haven't been able to find any lyrics to it, but it's available on youtube. It's one of their more lighter songs, but still a very demonic song. Particularly the laughing in this track. It was still hard to figure any of the lyrics out because of how unclear they were. It's still a nice song to listen to and one of their most fast-paced songs.
Stand-out track: Forever, Nebula Queen, Flame Of Wrath & The Mournful Euphony
Weaker tracks: The Thing That Should Not Be & Pandemonium
The vocals are much more clearer and improved but it doesn't lose the rawness present in Lake Of Sorrow. It's no surprise to hear that Anita was never classically trained. From a lot of the comments I've seen. A lot of people prefer Lake Of Sorrow, but I personally think this album is much better than the debut. It still contains some of their depressing themes in their music but I think it's much more energetic,more upbeat and brutal. It's a very nice album I enjoyed listening to. I would listen to it again, and I've had Forever on repeat a lot times.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Flame Of Wrath
4 Partial Insanity
5 Perpetual Desolation
6 Nebula Queen
7 Mournful Euphony
8 Tormented Soul
9 Thing That Should Not Be