On disc: The 3rd And The Mortal
Tears Laid In Earth
(Voices Of Wonder - 1994)
The first full-length album of the Norwegian band and at this point of their career that atmospheric doom was in its purest display. They had a lot of progressive elements into their music so some metal as well.
The riffs,songs structures and voice provide a dream-like ambiance. The keyboards take you with the flow. The have a unique sound, the only vague similarities I can find is in 70’s progressive albums like Atom Heart Mother-era Pink Floyd or Dead Can Dance, but using slow metal riffs as well as heavy drumming and bass.
The singer back the was Kari Ruelåtten - latter known for her solo work and with the folk band Storm -, her sirenic and delicate voice provides a very nice, new age kind of atmosphere. The lyrics handle personal subjects. You need to give it many spins to discover it all. An specific quiet and thoughtful mood may help, too.There are lots of instrumental passages which are very dense and slow tempo.
Salva Me is probably the strongest song in which all of the members display their skills and feeling more directly and heavier. Autopoema - one of the favorites among fans - is the most enchanting and subtle song in which the lyrics and guitar chords take you into a very strange and deep trip inside yourself. The closing track Oceania, an 18 minute song is the highest point of density and atmospheric trip.
I most point out the context which makes this album have a strong meaning. This was the first band fully fronted by a woman in the 90's European atmospheric-metal-scene. Theatre Of Tragedy and Paradigma were doing dual vocals back then, The Gathering took Anneke van Giersbergen as a full frontwoman a year later with Mandylion. All other bands did it several years later and we know how many of them exist and how popular such a genre became - in a simpler expression though. I dare in the most objective way I can, to say The 3rd And The Mortal are a cult band of forerunners - sharing with Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and The Gathering which contributed to other elements - of what became a successful style in the mid- / late-90's up to now. They always stayed underground and their music got even more complex. This first full-length album gives a best scope of their style, creativity and power at their highest point. Considering it was released in 1994 is also very important to value them as what they meant in transcending in such style.