Album Review: Last Wail – The Tale of Endless Night
Release date: June 1, 2011
Label: Stygian Crypt Records
Lyrical content: War
Genre: Folk/Melodic Death Metal
This album came in with a (now not so)recent load of physical Russian albums from the above record label, and Niek was so kind to share in this late Sinterklaas present, he even gave me a choice! I chose Last Wail as a starter because I never reviewed, and never owned a Folk Metal album before. Now we’re here, seeing whether this album is worth our time.
Last Wail are quite a cool band as they provide the listener with an alternative spin on the whole female Death growlers-concept; some Folk Metal, drenched in Melodic Death Metal. It certainly is a feature that lifts Last Wail out of an depthless pool of Folk- and Melodeath bands that are already out there.
The Tale of Endless Night starts of with a lovely acoustic instrumental, aptly called Intro. From there, the band seem to run through their songs with ease, although that same ease tends to lean to boringness sometimes. A sole light of recognition comes in at the end when the band plays a version of Ensiferium’s Windrider, which is well done, but stands miles apart from the rest of the music, leaving it in the shadows.
The music on The Tale of Endless Night is really diverse and enjoyable to hear. Next to the normal combination of drums, guitars and bass, there are also piano’s, violins and flute’s. These instruments, of which I’m not sure whether they are keyboards or not (except for the flute because there’s a flute player), sound really good and are high quality.
The drums on Last Wail’s debut are very dynamic and solid. Drummer Modi’s style is quite unique, especially the way he uses his double bass in order to make a song speed up or slow down in dynamics. However, in the mix, the drums seem to miss that bit of extra low-end punch, so these typical bass rolls tend to fall into the background.
The guitars are quite melodic, playing typical Folk melodies over some power chords. I personally find it a bit of a shame that there are no real guitar solos on The Tale of Endless Night, which is a factor contributing to the general lack of appeal I feel towards this album. The acoustic guitars on the other hand are really nice and well executed, with a perfect tone and sound quality.
The bass is near inaudible, which is mainly due to the fact that it simply pummels along with the guitars. Another missed opportunity in my opinion.
So coming to the main attraction on Las Wail’s debut, the vocals. Vocalist Alien does a fine job in singing the songs, but she tends to fall into being monotonous and boring, mainly by not changing the pitch, or type of screaming she employs. Although for a part, this is taken away by the employment of vocal pan, it still is very apparent to the listener.
Last Wail’s debut is certainly an interesting listen, yet I feel that where the short instrumental tracks Intro, Mystery and Outro are spot on and perfectly executed, other songs lack that little extra bit of personality in order to really appeal.
The Tale of Endless Night is quite a long way from being a good album, but it forms a solid base for what is to come.
My Grade: 7.0/10
Buy this when:
- you like both Folk and Melodic Death Metal
- you like female growlers
[As a bonus I'll throw in a video of drummer Modi, playing his parts to the title track!]