Sorrowful Land’s Contemplative Death/Doom Seeks Escape from “Faded Anchors of the Past” (Early Album Stream + Track-By-Track)
Sorrowful Land, the Ukrainian death/doom solo act, are returning with Faded Anchors of the Past, a locomotive of a record that never takes its foot off the pedal. Granted, its motor maxes out at the speed limit, but its toing is without froing [Editor's Note: Yes, real words!], progressing ever forward over an hour. We’re premiering it in full just before its release on Black Lion Records tomorrow, alongside a track-by-track breakdown courtesy of the band.
Faded Anchors of the Past is Max Molodtsov’s third album under the Sorrowful Land banner, and by now he’s proficient in drawing the best performance out of his guests. Half of the album’s tracks feature vocals from the likes of Pierre Laube (Doomed), Henrik Ekholm (Within the Fall), and Stefan Nordström (Soliloquium, Desolator). Molodtsov opens up the floor for his contributors to brandish their vocal chops. His compositions are vast enough that all guests have ample space for varied expression. Their inclusion gives each track on Faded Anchors of the Past a distinct flavor, from the high drama on “Small Lost Moments” to the title track’s grapples with grief.
Even through these shifting moods, Molodtsov is perpetually in motion. Although his pace is slow, he never stalls on Faded Anchors of the Past. He’s happy to inhabit the gloomy yet meaty pastures, trimming the fat of prolonged intros and outros. Opener “As Long as We Breathe” sets the scene by setting the pace; loud, layered, and tepid. Nearly the entire record inhabits that space as tracks evolve through microscopic changes that amount to torrential conclusions, as is the case with the gargantuan “As I Behold Them Again.” As such, Faded Anchors of the Past runs faster than its length infers. Even if it’s on an atomic level, Molodtsov is always moving forward, pushing onwards and outwards.
Stream the album and check out the track-by-track below:
1. “As Long As We Breathe” – The epic opener starts with a huge guitar impact and pounces on you. It’s the very first Sorrowful Land song dedicated to environmental problems. It’s a peculiar desperate cry of our planet that speaks through the voice and lyrics of Pierre Laube – leader of German doom-metal act DOOMED and my fellow friend. Try to answer the question: who are you if not a grain of sand in this immense Universe? And who gave you the right to kill the Earth with your deeds?
2. “Faded Anchors of the Past” – A very personal song based on lyrics of Max Molodtsov, sung by Henrik Ekholm from WITHIN THE FALL. Let’s call it a dreary “love song” dedicated to the one person who was not whom he seemed. I say no more – take a listen, and I think your soul will resonate with this tune.
3. “The Cold Gray Fog of Dawn” – The most melancholic song on the album. Lyrics were written by Stefan Nordstrom from the Swedish band SOLILOQUIUM. He invites us to be a part of the early morning journey through the old city. Of course, it’s some kind of allegory too. Also, you can hear backing vocals from Henrik Ekholm once again while Stefan takes the main vocal parts. And don’t you miss that creepy piano interlude! It will send shivers down your spine!
4. “Small Lost Moments” – My favourite track on the album. Period. One of the longest songs too. A vocal and lyrical masterpiece done by the duo of Kaivan Saraei (clean vocals) and Miguel Santos (growls) from the international band “A DREAM OF POE”. One of the songs that makes you wonder about the meaning and wordplay. Decide for yourself, but it can surely touch the strings of your soul with Kaivan’s voice.
5. “As I Behold Them Once Again” – One of the older songs (written back in 2016) that once again reminds us that sometimes you may struggle to fight the spirits of the past. From now on, you’ll hear only Max’s vocals. This and two other songs were re-recorded and remixed due to the newer standards of sounds to compete with the rest of the album. Now close your eyes and follow the lead.
6. “Where The Sullen Waters Flow” – An almost phlegmatic yet atmospheric song with a whispering and slow-paced rhythm that brings you to the shores of a serene river. But beware! This tranquility can be deceptive. Let not the blackened waters devour you!
7. “The Night Is Darkening Around Me” – As a fan of old English poetry, I couldn’t get away from this beautiful poetry of Emily Bronte. It is as doomy as it gets! But this song is about the hope that everyone should have. So even in the darkest of times – the Sun may be embraced. This is a doom-metal hymn of Hope to cheer you up a little bit!
8. “When The Oceans Calm” – An outro piece with piano and strings to give you a taste of accomplishment. Just a nice instrumental to wrap it up… I hope you enjoyed this musical rendezvous with me!
Faded Anchors of the Past releases January 27 via Black Lion Records.