A Review of Sinner's Serenade the Debut Album of Finnish Melodic Death Metal Band Eternal Tears of Sorrow
Sinner's Serenade Marks the Dawn of a New Wave of Melodic Death Metal
Sinner's Serenade is the album that marks the debut of one of the best melodic death metal bands in the history of Finland and that band is Eternal Tears of Sorrow. If I had to be honest this album wasn't one that I was planning a review of but yesterday after listening to the album Chaotic Beauty, I decided to give this one a listen. Sinner's Serenade has a certain sound it almost like it sounds like a melodic death metal version of Iron Maiden.
Sinner's Serenade Has Been Influenced by Sweden's Dark Tranquillity
However, this album begins with a very short instrumental part called Dawn. It is only 52 seconds long but it is 52 seconds that is worth your time to listen to it. There is not much time to relax because the music gets heavy soon with the song called Another One Falls Asleep. This album at least so far does not give you the chills like Chaotic Beauty might because this album isn't as dark sounding as that one. The Law of the Flames lyrically is about what evil forces are doing as they have taken over the land. Those that are pagans are eliminated. The acoustic guitar is a very nice complement to the heavy music that is on here. Dirge continues in the melodic tradition of this band and it is a cliché to talk about Finnish melodic death metal bands being melodic as that is a foregone conclusion. This song sounds like something we would hear on the Skydancer album by Dark Tranquillity. These elements are harsh vocals of the time period followed by the distinct guitar tone that we would hear. This album Sinner's Serenade came out in 1997, just 4 years after Skydancer so the tone and sound of these two albums are very similar. Into the Deepest Waters is the second instrumental song on this album. There is a sort of interesting feel to this song almost like it is like the mini album Subterranean by In Flames. Sweden and Finland have really been a strong force in the melodic death metal genre since about 1990 so they have been doing this for 30 years now. Sinner's Serenade musically once again uses a touch of that In Flames influence however, I also hear a sort of guitar play that Finnish melodic death metal band Noumena would use in the mid 2000s.
A Few Interesting Observations About Sinner's Serenade
Surprisingly, Sinner's Serenade in spite of its title does not even sound sorrowful which may seem rather bizarre to those of us that are familiar with the melodic death metal scene in Finland. This album seems to me to be of the slower variety compared to the albums that Eternal Tears of Sorrow would release afterward. My God, the Evil Wind musically is similar to what Amorphis did in 1994 with Tales From the Thousand Lakes. The dark vocals and the dark, slow to mid-tempo heavy guitars are what give this song that kind of feel.
Final Thoughts About Sinner's Serenade
Bard's Burial is a short song that is lyrically similar to early Blind Guardian. The bass guitar can be heard as the guitar picking creates a sort of folk music atmosphere so by this point in the album it is evident that Eternal Tears of Sorrow was a slightly different band in their early years. The Son of the Forest shows a slight departure from the other songs as it sounds more modern and that's not to say that 1997 was that long ago but that's a while ago. Even so, this album has that older melodic death metal feel and it also shows a modern touch as well. Sinner's Serenade is a very good album from Finland's Eternal Tears of Sorrow but it may be a notch below albums that were to come later.
© 2020 Ara Vahanian