Pros: Whispering voices, soaring vocals, dramatic exchanges, extraordinary composition and execution.
Cons: Slightly boring around the seventh track
"timeless... ageless... ethereal beauty
bestow thy dark enchantment
so begins the autumn dance"
"I awaken thee"
"with my kiss
shall they forever
be one with me
dream of me, my children
as I embrace thy sorrow
and take unto myself
"I awaken thee"
So begins the first song, of the first album, of this remarkable trilogy, of dark ethereal melancholy music with the unlikely title Love Poems for Dying Children.There are three Love Poems for Dying Children, Act I - Reprise, Act II - The Garden of Crystalline Dreams and Act III - Winter and the Broken Angel. While they all vary somewhat, they are all quite similar - Melancholic dark atmospheric music - so you can buy one, or if you like you can buy all three. I have written reviews for the second and third Acts of this trilogy as well.(links appear below)
Act I was released in the autumn (how appropriate) of 1998. The primary artists are:
Ted (last name not given), composition, lyrics,
keyboards,lead and backing vocals.
Erika (last name not given), lead and backing vocals.
Jennifer (last name not given), lead and backing vocals.
Contributing musicians are:
Devon of December, guest vocals on Carfax Abbey.
Joe of December, acoustic 12 string on Carfax Abbey.
Jim West, snare drums / percussion on the Intermission.
SONGS / TRACK LIST
1. They Watch With Closed Eyes (Autumn Tears) - 5:49
2. Ode to My Forthcoming Winter, Pt. 1 Spring (Autumn Tears) - 1:45
3. Ode to My Forthcoming Winter, Pt. 2 Summer (Autumn Tears) - 1:51
4. Ode to My Forthcoming Winter, Pt. 3 Autumn (Autumn Tears) - 2:28
5. Ode to My Forthcoming Winter, Pt. 4 Winter (Autumn Tears) - 2:36
6. The Eloquent Sleep (Autumn Tears) - 9:28
7. And Then the Whispering... (Autumn Tears) - 4:32
8. One Tender Kiss (The Lost Seasons) Prelude (Autumn Tears) - 3:36
9. Carfax Abbey (Autumn Tears) - 7:12
10. The Intermission (Autumn Tears) - 5:37
When I listen to Act I, I think it is my favorite, however, when I listen to Act II, I think the same thing and so-forth for Act III, so I guess I don't have a favorite. It is also very hard to pick out standout tracks, since the songs seem to run together.
I always marvel how composers are able to create such interesting arrangements, after all, the arrangement is a critical item. Ted seems to be very good at it and I find his music both inspirational and captivating. As the title would imply, the music is sad, dark, ethereal and atmospheric, but also quite pleasing to the ear. Various keyboards seem to be Ted's instrument of choice, especially organ. The ladies have beautiful voices and the arrangements are superb and the lyrics (paths of unbound memories / tangled within the inner depths of love and sorrow / untrodden by questioning footsteps / unbroken by deafening silence) are some of the most beautiful and profound I have ever heard. This is the kind of music you can sit and absorb every note or it could easily be used for background music. The music while dark, is not dreary. While listening to it, I feel transformed, like I'm walking beside a babbling brook in the middle of a bright sunny forest with gorgeous wildflowers everywhere.
While the music is exquisite, it is not necessarily unusual( aside from the subject matter). I can name several very capable similar artists (I say artists instead of bands because many are duos)of dark ethereal melancholic music:
Dark Sanctuary from France
Dargaard from Austria
Arcana from Sweden
Avrigus from Australia
This must be a labor of love because this music is never going to be a big seller with the mainstream masses. One can't help but wonder if their was some kind of tragedy, in one of the members past, concerning a child. However if the masses were properly introduced to this wonderful music, which reads like an opera, a surprising number of people might become fans.
Love Poems for Dying Children, Act II - The Garden of Crystaline Dreams: http://www.epinions.com/content_96574541444
Love Poems for Dying Children, Act III - Winter and the Broken Angel: