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Better Know a Band: While Heaven Wept

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by Palabra de Dios, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. Palabra de Dios

    Palabra de Dios Heavy Metal Weatherman

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    One of my favorite bands on the upcoming roster, figured they needed their due as well, for those unfamiliar (or skeptical about going away from prog or power :) ) I will keep the same format Justin began. Maybe I get a sticky too?

    While Heaven Wept:

    Wiki Entry:
    While Heaven Wept (often abbreviated as WHW) is an epic doom metal band based in Dale City, Virginia, USA. The primary writer and overall engine of the band is mainman Tom Phillips. Their melodic, classically influenced style could be compared to bands such as Solitude Aeturnus and Solstice (the latter of which Tom Phillips is a former member); however, 2003's acclaimed Of Empires Forlorn saw the band branching out into a variety of metal and progressive styles. This trend continues on their 2009 album, Vast Oceans Lachrymose.
    While Heaven Wept's lyrics have traditionally dealt with sorrowful matters, namely, personal loss and despondency.

    Personal Take:
    This is doom metal for people who are scared to get into doom metal. This isn’t just Black Sabbath worship, or slowed-down death metal. While Heaven Wept play sorrowful music, but it’s absolutely gorgeous. Their sound relies heavily on keyboard motifs that don’t sound goofy, but add into the entire majesty of their sound. Each song takes the listener on a journey through the depths of human melancholy, but never really bores you to death.

    Sounds like:
    Doom metal that you’ve not heard before, if all you’ve heard is Black Sabbath, Trouble, Pentagram, and Cathedral. Epic, majestic riffs…soaring vocals…slow-but-not-boring songs; these guys are the very definition of epic.

    Discography at a glance:

    Of Empires Forlorn is an absolute masterpiece. Its only flaw is that it ends too soon, honestly, and that is saying a lot about how good a total album actually is. It’s just magnificent.

    Unfortunately, due to limited pressings, their earlier work is waaaay out of print, and notoriously expensive on eBay or Amazon. If you're looking for hard copies, prepare to pay for them. But, mp3 versions, or iTunes versions, would be your most affordable route. Regardless, their newest CD is very easy to find, and is quite good. Tom Phillips passes vocal duties to newcomer Rain Irving, who does a great job of keeping that WHW feel.

    Quick Song Hitlist:
    Their upcoming live DVD might give an idea of what songs they will play live:
    'Vast Oceans Lachrymose' (Vast Oceans Lachrymose)
    'The Furthest Shore' (Parts 1-3) (Vast Oceans Lachrymose)
    'Soulsadness' (…Of Empires Forlorn)
    'The Drowning Years' (…Of Empires Forlorn)
    'Of Empires Forlorn' (…Of Empires Forlorn)
    'Vessel' (Vast Oceans Lachrymose)
    'Thus With A Kiss I Die' (Sorrow of the Angels)
    'To Wander The Void' (Vast Oceans Lachrymose)

    A few YouTube links


    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfTtzp0qn7E&feature=related[/ame]
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qd80yegMpc&feature=related[/ame]
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AGmmeAoUPw&feature=related[/ame]
     
    #1 Palabra de Dios, Sep 20, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  2. johnfrank1970

    johnfrank1970 Member

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    My blurb for their new disc is below. I do not consider it to be very doomy, which is a good thing for my tastes.

    89. While Heaven Wept - Vast Oceans Lachrymose

    I know a lot of people who were feverishly anticipating this album, the band’s first in six years, but I was not one of them. I never got into Of Empires Forlorn, which many consider to be a classic, so I had no reason to expect much from Vast Oceans Lachrymose. In the end, I was pleased that the band eschewed doominess for the most part in favor of more energetic styles such as the early Sculptured vibe (sans death vocals) on the epic opening track or the spot on early Fates Warning tribute on “To Wander the Void”. The disc unfortunately peters out for me during the last three tracks, as the songs are a bit too repetitive and the epilogue is just an excerpt from my mom’s Soothing Sounds of the Sea CD. I look forward to hearing their next album in 2015 (While Heaven Wept not Nature’s Soundscapes or K-Tel or whoever the hell puts out those background noise albums for grandmothers and hippies).
     
  3. Sir Exar Kun

    Sir Exar Kun Member

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    ...and as a quick follow-up for those who may have missed it, Rain Irving is the former singer of the band Altura, who released a classic of the prog-power genre titled "Mercy" on Magna Carta back in the mid-nineties. WHW is dramatically different, but I gave it a try just to hear Rain again.
     
  4. booB

    booB Señor Member

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    Not to take away anything from this band, because they're good at what they do... but I don't understand how bands such as WHW get labeled as "doom metal". Where are the dirge-like guitar riffs? Where are the minor chords? Where is the vocal emotion? These are attributes pioneered by bands like Black Sabbath, Trouble, and Solitude Aeturnus, and kept alive by more recent bands like Memory Garden and Thunderstorm. This stuff, while it may win over the ProgPower crowd, is too "shiny" to be doom metal. "Slow" and "dark" do not doom metal make.

    Then again, we may simply be heading for a split in the genre. After all, "American" power metal sounds very little like "European" power metal.
     
  5. Jasonic

    Jasonic Doom On!

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    Can't wait for all the PP doom haterz to all of a sudden be fans of the genre.

    Hey, it happened with viking metal!!!!
    Diabolik was praising it for years before it could even be considered a viable genre around these parts.
     
  6. Palabra de Dios

    Palabra de Dios Heavy Metal Weatherman

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    Vocal emotion is what this band does.
     
    #6 Palabra de Dios, Sep 20, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  7. TychoCelchu

    TychoCelchu Member

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    It's because of the past. They used to be a pretty standard (albeit very good) doom metal band. They've been operating for about 20 years. It's only recently that they've been moving away from it. And it so happens that their albums which show a moving away from standard doom metal are the ones that are most well-known and most widely available. That's where the confusion comes from.
     
  8. nomisofsiman

    nomisofsiman Member

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    Somehow I knew you'd chime in with this thread. I've always said people on here could get into bands like Candlemass and Solitude if they give it an open-mind. WHW is an even easier band in terms of getting into doom.

    Btw Jason, did you hear that Manilla Road did really well at H&H's merch table this year? That must make you happy.
     
  9. Jasonic

    Jasonic Doom On!

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    That's awesome!!! Wonder if my tootin their horn around here led to any sales......

    It's cool. It just sometimes gets my goat how bands that people would never even spit at all of a sudden get credible by a festival or tour booking. The whole PAgan Fest is a prime example.

    No disrespect to Glen, but let's be realistic. Before Pagan Fest, there is no way Tyr or Turisas would have ever been considered. I am a business man myself, so obviously their US sales have increased following Pagan Fest, but still.

    As I said, Diabolik for years has been posting about bands like Elvenking, Turisas, etc, etc LONG before people would even give em a chance.
     
  10. zekeyou

    zekeyou Member

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    Love this band greatly since the release of "Of Empires Forlorn". An abbreviated version of "The Drowning Years" lead off a Knuckletracks many years ago, and that prompted me to pick up the album. Later that year when the other version of "Of Empires Forlorn" came out, I picked that up, too.

    Over the following years I was able to pick up one of their vinyl comps and then also become nervous when I read of Tom's handing-over of the main vocal duties, but seriously, Vast Oceans Lachrymose picked up where its predecessor left off-- more (slightly different) soaring vocals. Just all-around excellent stuff.

    For a while Tom Phillips frequented the Braveboard and was a great bringer of doom opinion and knowledge to the board-- I remember page-long histories of doom metal and its sub-genres penned by him.

    I do know that WHW is easily the top band of next year's roster for our traveling party of 3...
     
  11. lignicolos

    lignicolos They don't think it be like it is, but it do

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    This band is the reason I will be attending next year. I managed to pick up the limited re-issues of Sorrow of The Angels and Of Empires Forlorn that came out earlier this year (#46 of 1000 baby!). Someone posted about the band on this board a while back in a doom-metal recommendation thread and although I don't remember who, Thank you! These guys rock!
     
  12. TychoCelchu

    TychoCelchu Member

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  13. nomisofsiman

    nomisofsiman Member

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    I don't want to derail this topic, but I just don't see how Elvenking fits. They have a folkish vibe but for the most part they're pretty much power metal that has folkish elements. In terms of the others I agree, though I don't really know exactly how popular TYR have gotten.

    To get back on topic though, I really am looking forward to their set. I grabbed Of Empires Forlorn years ago, thinking it was such a great underground find that not many knew of. Now that they've gained more support due to their recent disc, I'm really stoked.
     
  14. J. Golden

    J. Golden Heaven and Hell Records

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    LOL I'm just going to leave this alone. (as I shack my head)
     
  15. VenomGA

    VenomGA At War With Stan

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    Another band my friend Adrian from Unrestrained Magazine introduced me to thankfully!!! They are going to kick ass!!!!
     
  16. edgeofthorns

    edgeofthorns 24 Hours Ago...

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    While Heaven Wept is playing over in Raleigh, North Carolina on September 25th.

    ~Brian~
     
  17. Diamond45

    Diamond45 Terminate Bad Music

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    Being they're based in northern Virginia, I'm hoping they'll play close to where I live soon. Raleigh is a bit far for me to drive.
     
  18. J. Golden

    J. Golden Heaven and Hell Records

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    I'll be there.
    Maybe this will get out all the Progpower goers from NC who seem clueless to things going on around them up there. Not generalizing here those guys point it out all the time. HAHA
     
  19. Met-Al

    Met-Al Member

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    If anybody saw my reaction the announcement of this band at ProgPower, they would know that I'm extremely stoked to see them. I had known about them for the better part of this decade, as I'm a huge fan of Brave and its previous incarnation, Arise From Thorns (Tom Phillips was their lead guitarist for a while). I'll admit that the doom tag kept me from checking them out a lot sooner, but when I found out that half of the members of Brave had joined the band for Vast Oceans Lachrymose, I was intrigued. What sealed the deal for me was seeing the addition of Rain Irving on vocals. To this day, I listen to Altura's Mercy with insane amounts of fanboy glee. Upon my first listen of While Heaven Wept's latest opus, I was hooked. If Redemption hadn't released Snowfall On Judgment Day, this album would have been my absolute favorite of 2009.

    I agree that Vast Oceans Lachrymose is far from a traditional-sounding doom album, but there are still elements of doom in the band's sound and lyrics. Overall, though, this album can best be described as epic, progressive, slightly-doomy metal.

    After checking out material from the previous two albums, I'm dying to get my hands on them. I wish I didn't miss the boat on those limited reissues. I know I can download them, but it's just not the same as having the tangible product. I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and blow some serious money on Ebay!


    Stay metal. Never rust.
    Albert
     
  20. J. Golden

    J. Golden Heaven and Hell Records

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    I had no idea what these were fetching maybe I should sell mine. HAHA
    Wonder if Michelle will be with them at Progpower. I love her voice she is one of my favorite female vocalist, probably second to Kate Bush who rules them all.
     

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