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Album Review MIRRORTHRONE-Of Wind and Weeping :: Maelstrom :: Issue No 15
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9.7/10 Roberto
4/10 Matt

MIRRORTHRONE - Of Wind and Weeping - CD - Red Stream Records - 2003

review by: Roberto Martinelli

Donít you just love one-man projects? Especially the ones where the dude is all alone in his bedroom? Mirrorthrone is just that. In fact, it plays it up, with a credit on the back of the CD clearly saying that the music was recorded, mixed and mastered in the bedroom of Vladimir, the Mirrorthrone man.

And donít you just love when said one-man projects also rule? Mirrorthrone does. Red Stream is a pretty strong label, and Of Wind and Weeping is one of their best releases.

Of Wind and Weeping is very dense and melodic. The songs have lots of parts and are quite long, but donít seem so due to the engaging nature of the compositions. Mirrorthroneís music is very deep: wonderful interactions between the guitars and various (superbly) synthesized instruments, and striking, clean vocals. Of Wind and Weeping has the best vocal harmonies of any black metal record, ever. But itís not all loneliness for Vladimir, who is joined by a woman, Marthe Gallaz, on vocals on two songs. If Gallaz looks anything as good as she sounds, then sheís pretty cute.

Shredding guitar and overdrive drums cut into melodic interludes of sweeping, delicate emotion. And Vladimir can play his instruments masterfully. The only thing it seems he canít play magnificently are the drums, so he makes up for that by programming a drum machine into oblivion. The detail and artistic sense of the programming here ranks with Necrophagist, among the best.

During the Christmas season, there are these TV ads in San Francisco for a jewelry store called Zales, and another jeweler called De Beers. Both use this kind of piano signature that obviously has a pretty big impact, as I canít stop thinking of those ads when the piano solo parts come along in Of Wind and Weeping. Well, the De Beers ads in particular are shot where you only see the black and white silhouettes of the people in the ads, inevitably making me think of "Psycho"; like, the husband is going to stab the wife to death with a diamond knife.

Of Wind and Weeping is actually a compilation of material that was recorded over the span of two years. The stuff fits together pretty well, but you canít help but notice that the quality of much of the earlier material, found at the end of the disk, is below the standard of the most recent stuff. Itís a small bone to pick, but itís the only thing separating this album from a perfect score. (9.7/10)

review by: Matt Smith

Mirrorthrone is enjoyable, though a bit theatrical. Rain falling and sad, symphonic sounds open Of Wind and Weeping (the title just nails it, really); a subdued piano line and synthesized strings are soon joined by harmonized, choir-like vocals before the guitars and drums kick in. This really sets the mood for the album, though the guitars make relatively few appearances until track six.

Itís mainly fake pianos and strings with drums behind and singing taking the lead. Itís well-produced, which does a lot for it. Itís hard to pull off something thatís supposed to sound seriously symphonic with hollow, dirty production. The fake strings are apparent, however, and some of the other instruments end up sounding pretty cheap. Nothing Cradle of Filth hasnít done before, though, right?

The synths sounds good, as does the drum machine that often tat-tat-tats like a machine gun. Itís just a bit ridiculous at times, and adds to the artificial sound of the album as a whole. The CD has a lot going on, but it all sounds separate. The instruments donít often play into

each other, they just play layered over each other, creating a disjointed feel. Itís one of the pitfalls of doing solo work, I suppose.

Of Wind and Weeping is full of decent, listenable songs, but none of the lines taken by themselves is all that impressive, especially since it is apparent that most of the instruments are clearly fake. If you like dramatic, atmospheric, symphonic stuff and donít mind a few cheap-sounding instruments, this would be a good album to get. (4/10)


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