The Sins of thy Beloved - _Lake of Sorrow_
(Napalm Records, 1998)
by: Pedro Azevedo (9 out of 10)
_Lake of Sorrow_, the debut from this seven-piece band, sounds rather close to Tristania's, especially the guitars; the presence of death and female vox and plenty of keyboard arrangements are other similarities between the two bands, and both use a violin (played by Pete Johansen in both cases, actually) -- but the violin is much more important for The Sins of thy Beloved. While TSotB present a less bombastic sound than Tristania, the two bands become more similar in the softer parts; and while Tristania are generally better at creating catchy melodic lines, TSotB are a bit doomier. TSotB's female vocalist reminds me of Theatre of Tragedy's Liv Kristine Espenaes, at least in the softness of her voice and the soothing way she sings, even though she doesn't seem to be as technically good as Liv and doesn't really try anything remarkably difficult with her voice. Nevertheless, her performance is very good and suits the music perfectly well. While the keyboards are handled well enough, especially the piano parts, the violin sections are clearly responsible for making _Lake of Sorrow_ really interesting, and these appear very frequently. Sometimes replacing or following the guitar lines, other times together with the piano or even solo, the violin is the highlight of the album -- although the female vocals should not be forgotten, either. The rest of the music is usually also very good, and, overall, despite a clear lack of originality, this is a highly impressive debut.

(article published 16/1/1999)

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