After four years Eternal Tears of Sorrow have finally released their seventh album Saivon Lapsi. Saivon Lapsi (translated as Child of Saivo, Saivo being the underworld of the indigenous Sami people from northern Finland) is a massively epic album, combining their brand of melodic death metal but with a much more focus on symphonic elements as been the trend since their last couple of releases. Hailing from the northern region of Finland, their lyrics mostly deal with stories of their region and Lapland, the most northern region in Finland. With Saivon Lapsi they have continued to perfect their sound and have produced what may be their most melodic album yet.
The album starts with Saivo, an instrumental of different layers of synth until the first real song Dark Alliance comes in. Dark Alliance starts right off the bat with heavy guitars and epic keys. This song shows what Eternal Tears of Sorrow are all about with its complex orchestral arrangements, heavy guitars, and clean and growled vocals. Longtime growler and bassist Altti Veteläinen has never sounded better, his venomous mid to high growls sound excellent especially when the heavy guitars comes rolling in. For clean vocalist Jarmo Kylmänen this is his second full length with Eternal Tears of Sorrow as an official member (he has been a session member for them for many years). His vocals, while not present in every song is but at least in a majority of them, are powerful when they are present either in the pre-chorus or the chorus itself. For Saivon Lapsi as compared to their last album Children of the Dark Waters, Jarmo’s clean vocals are given quite a bit more presence than their last album. However, Altti’s growls are still the more dominant vocals throughout the whole album. Guitar-wise, both Jarmo Puolakanaho and Mika Lammassaar are in top form creating really heavy moments coupled with really melodic leads. Keyboardist Janne Tolsa really is one of the main stars in Eternal Tears of Sorrow as he brings out the epic nature of the music. As for the rhythm section, drummer Juho Raappana is the backbone for the band and on this album has kept it relatively close to what he has done in the last album.
Saivon Lapsi is a fantastic album and a good continuation of they have been doing since their Before the Bleeding Sun album mixing melodic death metal with very symphonic elements to give that epic feel. Songs like Dark Alliance, Beneath the Frozen Leaves, and the epic closer track (and the third installment in the trilogy) Angelheart, Ravenheart (Act III: Saivon Lapsi) shows the intense kind of music that Eternal Tears of Sorrow is trying to convey to the listener. Amidst all the releases coming out in 2013, this is an album that is sure to be a hit with many fans.
2. Dark Alliance
3. Legion of the Beast
5. Dance of December
6. The Day
7. Sound of Silence
8. Beneath the Frozen Leaves
9. Swan Saivo
10. Blood Stained Sea
11. Angelheart, Ravenheart (Act III: Saivon Lapsi)
Genre: Symphonic/Melodic Death Metal
Record Label: Massacre Records
Playing Time: 45:05