I have been really positive about Yearning before, and I'm going to be just that again. Apart from various tracks they contributed to Holy Records compilations (and the rather spiffing "As we Die For Paradise Lost" tribute), this is their second album.

Yearning's use of electric Lute and flute lends them a pretty unique sound, a hint of something mediaeval, but not quite as overt as fellow Holy Records recording artists, Stille Volk. Yearning write well-produced, challenging doom metal of sorts. Vocalist U-Honey (granted, their artist names sound more like members of a rap band) at times grunts almost subsonically, then treats us to an aurally almost indigestible, half-chanted solo bit like in the middle of "Soliloquy II". Quite a challenge for the listener there, and probably the only gripe any open-minded metalhead could have with "Plaintive Scenes".

The album harbours some excellent tracks, especially "Grey" and "Soliloquy". Drummer T. Kristian (...) does some pretty excellent drumming and Tero's distorted guitar sounds heavy as f@*k there. But each of the other tracks also contains grains of beauty, shreds of heaviness and oodles of recognizably Yearning originality.

This album would have gained full five-bullet rating if it weren't for the utter stupidity of the last couple of tracks. You probably already know what I'm hinting at...several half-minute 'empty' tracks with one containing a bit of extra song. Quit it, people, this hasn't been original since Nirvana's "Nevermind". I hate that.



Written July 1999


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