Aleah Stanbridge: Vocals/Lyrics
Juha Raivio: Guitars
Kai Hahto: Drums
Fredrik Norrmann: Guitars
Mattias Norrmann: Bass
1. My Requiem
2. Eye Of Night
3. Condemned To Silence
4. A Million Tears
5. Hour Of The Nightingale
6. The Passage
7. Broken Mirror
8. Black Ocean
9. Sinking Ships
10. Gallows Bird
“Hour Of The Nightingale” is a work of stark beauty, which is doomed to stand alone, never duplicated due to the tragic death of vocalist Aleah Stanbridge. Cancer robbed the world of a great talent. Whether the band choose to continue is unclear; the dreamers may die but the dreams live on.
Trees Of Eternity are something of a Supergroup featuring a member of Swallow The Sun (Juha) and ex members of Katatonia (The Norrmann brothers). Quite some pedigree.
The album kicks off with “My Requiem”, filled with gorgeous melodies and sweeping strings, tinged with a aching sense of hope. It’s a soul cleansing experience. Its followed by the harder edged tone of “Eye Of Night”, and “Condemened To Silence” which seems to yearn for a peace which you know in your heart is unattainable. The mournful madrigal “A Million Tears” is up next, and induces a sense of desolation.
The title track changes the direction slightly with shimmering guitars which recall Ennio Morricone or Angelo Badalamenti. A truly bleak soundscape. The album proceeds with the joyous melancholy of “The Passage”, and the fiery aggression of “Broken Mirror” – laced with hopelessness. The sole low point of the album comes next with “Black Ocean”, a monochrome soup of uninspired soul sickness. Thankfully the band resume their higher standards with “Sinking Ships”, it’s beautiful, delicate medieval motif sending the listener on to the astral plane; a feeling of watching the last ever sunrise.
Proceedings are rounded off by the plodding, funereal “Gallows Bird”, exuding aching melodies and the frigid embrace of winter. It is spectacular. The fact that it features a guest vocal from Doom legend Nick Holmes really helps turn it into something special.
“Hour Of Nightingale” is a superb album. It is doom laden without being leaden. It often recalls the excellent Norwegian band The 3rd And The Mortal. Aleah’s vocal talents are used to full extent; her ghostly tones bring the songs to life. It is heartbreaking that she has left us. This album is a wondrous parting gift which makes the listener run the gamut of emotional responses.