While Heaven Wept – Triumph: Tragedy: Transcendence – Live At the Hammer of Doom Festival (Cruz del Sur Music)Wednesday, 20th March 2013
It’s an utter crime to label these guys as doom, ‘cause there so much more to them. Like, so much more. One of the more cult and widely-respected American metal bands of this era, While Heaven Wept have enjoyed a rash of productivity of late after the release of their gigantic Vast Oceans Lachrymose last year. Only fitting the band follows it up with a live set, aptly titled,Triumph: Tragedy: Transcendence – Live At the Hammer of Doom Festival.
As live sets go, this seven-song offering lends a little more organic and wide feel than most, a credit to founding member/guitarist/stickler for details Tom Phillips. The band’s expansive, oftentimes grandiose sound is not lost in translation, rather, it’s big enough to fill several soccer stadiums, but is just right for a doom festival in Germany. And that’s probably the most misleading tag here – WHW is too melodic, too symphonic for the doom tag…all in the ear of the beholder, methinks.
Short songs these are not, rather long and momentous journeys, especially “Thus With A Kiss I Die,” the band’s signature song, which is loaded with swooning guitar melodies and several daring crescendos. Singer Rain Irving does his part, with some beautifully-sung portions on the brilliant “The Drowning Years” (probably the band’s best song) and sing-along “Vessel,” which involves a few frog-throated Germans in the front row during the chorus.
The air of quality to this is unmistakable; While Heaven Wept are widely-respected for a reason. Their oftentimes weighty and challenging songs translate quite well in the live arena, the type of songs where the concert-goer can just drift away, soak in the sounds, nurse a few beers, etc. If one thinks the title of Triumph: Tragedy: Transcendence – Live At the Hammer of Doom Festival is pretentious, then you don’t know this band. This is bold and beautiful stuff, man.
(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)