Ablaze My Sorrow
The Loss of All Hope EP

If In FlamesForegone has whetted your appetite for Swedish, 1994-1997 era melodic death metal nostalgia, then let’s continue your meal with another band from that era, Falkenberg’s Ablaze My Sorrow.

Knocking around the same times as their clear peers (then and now) In Flames and Dark Tranquility, Ablaze My Sorrow was a productive, if solidly second-tier act in the NWSDM explosion of the mid/late 90s (with the likes of Gates of Ishtar, Embracing, Callenish Circle, Without Grief, Gardenian, Divine Souls, The Embraced, Eternal Autumn, etc), with 4 middling to good albums between 1996 and 2002, the genre’s heyday.

Well, after an extended break from 2002 to 2016, the band reformed and released two albums; Black in 2016 and Among Ashes and Monoliths in 2020, neither of which I have heard, because to be honest, I had no idea the band had reformed, as I only had a passing interest in them in the 90s.

But after hearing The Loss of All Hope EP, I might have to give the band another visit, as I’m really enjoying this short, four-song, 16-minute EP of classic Swedish melodeath.

I’m instantly reminded of Dark Tranquility‘s Of Chaos and Eternal Night, one of the genre’s very best EPs. The 30 years in the genre, are fully on display here with slightly somber, but delicate dancing dual melodies and lone newcomer, vocalist Jonas Udd channeling his inner Mikael Stanne with pained rasps and a few decent clean vocals.

The four songs are all really good, with some sumptuous leadwork, cantering harmonies, and a few keyboards and atmospherics here and there culled right from 1996. However, my personal favorite is “Boundless”, is where I really got the early Dark Tranquility vibe, with a despondent trot and lovely dual harmony throughout. Then, high octane “Rotten to the Core” imbues classic, early In Flames with its snarling, but still sumptuous riffs and pace.

So, the genre looks to be getting some revitalization these last couple of years, (heck, even Eucharist released a comeback album), and 2023 is off to a great start with the Majesties’ Vast Reaches album…Heck, maybe (early) Ebony Tears and Sacrilege can make a comeback too…

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 4th, 2023

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