In the ten years Metalireland has been going, I’ve yet to see an unsigned band reach for quite so much as this. The effort is staggering.
Creations Tears evolved from early 90’s doom/death band Apathy, whose ‘Inertia’ demo was a quality take on the styles of the Yorkshire Three (MDB, Paradise Lost and Anathema).
They resurfaced round about 2002, with a few hired guns under singer Brian Reynolds. Yet a few gigs later all was quiet once more. It was unfortunate. Though the new lineup was finding its feet, they were solid, boasting a meaty, melodic tone, and I remember the few shows they did being more than decent.
I’m not sure anyone could have predicted (nor recommended) the journey they’ve undertaken since then. Back down to a nucleus of two, the band called on the services of ex-Paradise Lost drummer Lee Morris to play session drums on new material. A striking move, and one that would have piqued interest in and of itself.
But why stop? They’ve also hired ex Cradle Of Filth warbler Sara Jezebel ‘twitching fanny’ Deva for a track – and had the whole thing produced by none other than man of the moment Jens Borgen (Katatonia, Opeth, Soilwork) in Sweden.
It sounds like it, too. The tone across ‘Methods’ is massive, with the kind of polish and weight you’d expect of any of the above bands.
It all represents a monumental commitment, and let’s be honest about it – that costs. Has it really been worth it?
On a musical basis, the answer is a resounding yes.
It sounds almost exactly like its forbears. There are notes toward the modern Paradise Lost literally everywhere, and only the deafest ear could deny that ‘I Fail’ sounds but a whisker from actually sitting on a PL album.
Sara’s track, ‘Creation’s Tears’ sounds effortlessly festival without being tarnished by the fact. Early Lacuna Coil springs to mind immediately, while Within Temptation’s (really very good) debut ‘Enter’ is recalled as well.
The acoutsic ‘Odysessy’ is perhaps the Anathema number of the batch, harking massively to ‘A Natural Disaster’. It shouldnt be a surprise by this stage that it does that impressively too.
I didnt mean to talk about the tracks for this review. I wanted to talk about how important it was that bands strive for great things even though they’ll rarely get anywhere, about how you shouldnt really spend too much money on recording stuff, and about how difficult it would be to follow it up with touring.
But I admit to being quite breathtaken with what Creations Tears have done on here, and unintentionally, it does all come down to those tracks. The fact is, they’re great.
They’re superbly, maturely written, ultimately recalling the likes of Thine’s underrated gem ‘In Therapy’ while referencing both the heavy and light periods of the Yorkshire greats.
Is it overkill to hire famous names and record in Sweden for an unsigned Northern Irish band? You could easily say yes, and even joke about it. Creations Tears however have proven the merit in their decision with this album.
I am clueless as to what they’ll now do with it. The fact is however that the quality of their songwriting, and the quality of their execution, means that the right ears should at least hear it.
Those right ears should start with every metaller in Ireland, and that’s nothing to do with who’s playing on it. It’s to do with the quality of the music. Katatonia, Paradise Lost, Thine, Anathema, My Dying Bride, there’s bits of each in Creations Tears. Even the growling in the final track sounds distinctly like October Tide. Yet they’re their own men.
I don’t know Brian Reynolds or anything. But I’m gobsmacked and even slightly proud at what he’s pulled off with this album. Having a vision that big, then going and actually doing it – credit where credit’s due, say I – because the music deserves it.
4.1 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 08/11/10