Les Tenebres
...And the Waves Came Crashing Down

Les Tenebres’ (Norway) is a band that is not easily categorized. The most convenient thing to do is to file them under Doom Metal and be done with it. But as I listen to …And The Waves Came Crushing Down, I hear elements of Doom but I cannot concur with the tag as the overall definition of the band’s sound. It’s dark, it’s heavy, it’s moody in places…but it’s also varied. It’s not Doom Metal the same way later Anathema is not Doom Metal.

Anyway, you don’t care what it’s not, right? What it is, is a melancholic, melodic Metal album. The 4 songs present range from just over five minutes to just over nine. There are many elements present in these songs which offer an interesting ride and prevent any sort of monotony. The heavy guitars are are thick and dense and, when paired with the glassy clean tones, we get a good dichotomy of sound. Add in the deft lead work and I’d say the band has the guitar position nicely covered. Vocally, we’re given the clean delivery of Gustav Pedersen. No death growls to be found which, I have to say, was surprising. Not that I think they’re missing, I just expect it nowadays…especially in material of this nature. It’s nice to hear a vocalist in this context concentrate on melody. I have to say, though, that the vocals (however melodic) are the weak link in terms of delivery and intensity. But with the amount of potential shown, he obviously has bright days ahead. His melody lines and use of harmony are very good. Musically, as I said there are indeed elements of Doom Metal present (especially on “A Dream Within A Dream”), but with the amount of melody as well as the chosen melodic note-paths, I also hear a bit of Gothic Metal ala Mandylion-era The Gathering and an epic edge ala Amorphis.

In all, this is a fine release from Les Tenebres and a good starting point for future progression and fulfillment of potential. Fans of any of the bands mentioned, as well as mid-era Paradise Lost or early Lacuna Coil, should find something to enjoy here. It’s 30 minutes of strong, melodic, dark Metal music and well worth looking into.


[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shawn Pelata
July 28th, 2009


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