Sorrowstorm's debut "Caverns of Grief" is finally here after a long wait. This atmospheric black metal is sure to turn a few heads. This band is spearheaded by Phil Diez who is best known for his work with Encryptor. I'm not sure how good Encryptor's next album will be, but comparing debut albums, I think I like Sorrowstorm better. The first two songs didn't do much for me. "Breed the Tyrants" is an okay start to the album, but it has a few parts that I don't care for. The keyboards around the 4 to 4 1/2 minute mark sound like they would fit better on a gangsta rap album. I didn't know Phil was a closet rap fan! "Nocturnal Apparition" is also a decent song, but the clean vocals used make me cringe. Some people I've heard like them a lot, but I think they just clash big time. However, don't despair! After the first two "okay" songs, the album picks up steam. "Enslaver of Hateful Souls" follows and this song RULES! When the blistering guitars kick in full force, you'd swear you were listening to one of the best bands in the genre. The black vocals are grim, and feel like they are piercing your flesh. The song screeches to a halt about a minute from the end with an awesomely somber keyboard piece with haunting spoken vocals. Excellent! Good lyrics too! This song has me hitting the repeat button over and over. Other cool songs to check out are "The Arduous Warpath" and "Silent Plagues". "Silent Plagues" has some cool keys ala old Sanctifica and some nice acoustic guitar that add some good variety to the song.
Production is not perfect on this disc, but is actually pretty decent. Nothing that should hinder you from a good listen. Pretty consistent throughout. My biggest complaint would be that the drum sound is not always the best. There are no lyrics included in the booklet, but you can find lyrics to all the songs on the band's website. This band is not in the ranks of Antestor or Slechtvalk, but they've got a lot of promise. I'll definitely be looking forward to disc number two. Order a copy of this CD for $8 by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.sorrowstorm.com. (Review by Matt)