Released: 2001, Spinefarm Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
For all those people who aren´t aware of Finland’s melo-deathsters history, Eternal Tears Of Sorrow come originally from the Northern Finland, being located in a small town named Pudasjärvi. The band’s opening release, SINNER’S SERENADE was released thru a small Swedish label called X-TREME RECORDS in 1996 already before they were signed by Spinefarm Records. Having made VILDA MANNU and CHAOTIC BEAUTY (their best album to date in my opinion) for their new employer, I started firmly to believe in this band´s potential for taking the world with their well-arranged, highly dynamic melo-Death Metal.
So, keeping especially their previous output, titled CHAOTIC BEAUTY in my critical mind for drawing a comparison to their 3rd offering on Spinefarm, you´ll notice almost right away, the guys have gone towards a lighter yet more mainstream direction by adding slighty more keyboards to their sound and leaving basically all the light-speed parts and relentless barrages of blast beats outside of their darkly melodic, restrained metal which I could count as probably their biggest shortcoming on this release.
Furthermore, there´s no such a stand-out track such as "Shattered Souls (on CHAOTIC BEAUTY)" to be found out of an overall good material they have recorded for A VIRGIN... which could stick in our minds without any harder efforts made. It lacks of efficiency for making the songs sound like true "ace shit". Maybe that´s caused by these fellows having some sort of desire to change their music to a "friendlier" direction, into a bit calmer seas of metallic expression in order to gain and please more people; the way like SENTENCED have constantly been doing from one album to another? Whatever the reasons for this may be, this time that recipe hasn’t worked that successfully for them. I´m not saying they have failed on A VIRGIN... ´coz it surely has its pleasing moments. The 2nd song, "Heart of Wilderness" as well as the 3rd song on the album, "Prophetion", do offer some of the best entertainment that’s available. Still, it’s almost sad that they don’t sound that "young and wild and rebellious" any longer. Maybe I should call all this “regression” rather than “progression” ´coz I have always enjoyed ETOS´ brutal and heavy songs better than these god-awful keyboard-laden, light-weight parts in their songs. For example a song called "The River Flows Frozen" should have been left undone for A VIRGIN… because it´s just so lame shit and sounds like the guys have forgotten they were originally a HEAVY Death Metal band. So why to change your music that drastically on each release you put out and deny your past roots? ETOS were originally formed to please extreme metal fans.
But I forgive them this time. Hopefully, however, they´ll find their original, heavier path back to the tracks of the excellent CHAOTIC BEAUTY album to prove to their fans that their music is more made of stone, steel and blood NOT feathers, lipstick and kiss-my-ass-attitude. Time shall certainly tell again... ;=)