Vera : Three years after the self-titled debut album we have to admit that Eric Wagner did not succeed in cashing the full potential of this new start. It appears to be that the infamous ex-Trouble vocalist has moved again (from Chicago to Pittsburg, PA) where he has gathered a new line-up around him. For instance guitarist Terry Weston of Penance and Dream Death fame is recruited to equal the superior guitar solos of the debut. Fortunately he does have that soaring, howling feel and knowhow. With the debut we wrote that it happened to be a mighty comeback on which he magic of Trouble reigned again. After listening to ‘When Colors Fade Away’ it seems as if that power has fainted. This is quite a contemplative album, yet still kind of ear candy for doom aficionados.
Eric’s voice sounds rather laborious on this disc, as if colors In his life have faded indeed. Nothing wrong with that when you are into doom metal, but the singer himself states: the debut was hopeful, now demons have to be faced and conquered before another ray of light comes in sight. Even if ‘When Colors Fade Away’ does not invoke the excessive enthusiasm of the debut, yet there is still enough beauty to enjoy in a comfortable manner. The slow doom riffs of the title track are relished with calm, thoughtful vocals and the guitar sounds are howling and intense. ‘Can I Get A Witness’ is up-tempo and rocking, while vocals are semi spoken and storytelling. In ‘All My Sorrows’ Eric manifests himself again as the disappointed storyteller beyond despair, thus resignation rules. Next he wanders through the captivating tragic realms of My Dying Bride during the magnificent ‘My Old Soul’. That is an intriguing song, not only due to the reminiscence of My Dying Bride, but also because of its compelling melody and lyrics I heard before in a Genesis song. I guess nobody will make the link, but I do, since I have always been an huge follower of early Genesis. I spontaneously sing along with ‘Old King Cole was a merry old soul, and a merry old soul was he’. Just listen to (url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W35wtfcByIY]’The Musical Box’[/url] at 4’34’’ and I suggest you to listen to that entire amazing song. Weird resemblance.
‘Afternow’ includes chunky riffs and more excited vocals we remember from Trouble era. It is the only song in which Eric sings like this. Another song that should not escape to our attention, is the melancholic and beautiful ‘Crossing The River Turmoil’. Slow and moving with great soloing on steady doom foundation and Wagner who gives us the next insight into his heart. The introvert vocals in ‘Beside Still Water’ are fed by fluttering guitars and ‘Waiting For The Sun’ gives us a rather depressive and introspective impression as well. When we hear a wide range of references to Eric’s past in the slightly up-tempo occluding track ‘Till We Meet Again’ we start wondering if things are alright with this once so brightly flamboyant vocalist. A bit worried I round off this review, but doom metal fans can purchase this blindly!