Released: 2000, Mental Music
A weepy doom band from…Lancaster PA? Go figure, but that’s where these weepsters are from. You wouldn’t think that a band from there would be able to capture the slow, anguished gothic vibe that FoT are going for, but just one listen to this MCD and all fears are allayed. Indeed, all one has to do is listen to the first song, “Survive”. It is truly a beautiful piece of depressing music, with Anna DeRose’s soaring vocals (think Bif Naked, except with a TON more talent) flying overtop of a piano-led guitar attack. This song sounds like a fully developed Lacuna Coil, except that band couldn’t dream of a song this good.
“She Wants To Be” is a faster paced song, with a little more action in the guitar department (as opposed to the fairly simple chording of “Survive”). It also features a cool little galloping bass bit that is played in conjunction with a piano (?). All the while, the guitars swirl above until Anna takes the mic again, demanding your attention.
Unfortunately, the band takes a detour into la-la land with “The Sleeper”, which is merely the Poe poem read over metallic background music. A little too artsy fartsy for me thanks, plus, it is kinda dull. “Carousel” is rather bland as well, spinning in circles (sorry, couldn’t help it) and not really going anywhere. Things pick up again with “Real”, which also happens to be the last real song on the album. This song is a kind of variation on the style of “Survive”, which is just fine with me! If anything, it is a little heavier and less doomy.
Ultimately though, this album is a vehicle for Anna DeRose’s amazing vocals. She is the band’s meal ticket and they know it, mixing her far in front of the rest of the instruments. Because of this, the guitars and bass can be difficult to hear at times which makes me wish for a more even production job. Finally, if there’s one thing that I hate, it’s lame instrumentals! Fountain Of Tears is a 10-song album, where songs 6-10 are merely instrumental versions of the first 5 songs. No changes, just straight translations. WHY? It is a totally unnecessary part of the album. But man, those first five songs – awesome! Fans of The Gathering, Anathema etc. would do well to search out Fountain Of Tears, ‘cause its only gonna get better!