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19 Sep 2011

Review - The Cruelty of Great Expectations

Source: Metal Temple

Melancholy stands firm in the hands of the Northern Irish H.F.C. or better known as HONEY FOR CHRIST. The darkness of inner thoughts and lost emotions has been lurking through the backs of this band’s minds since the late 80s and after a few self-released endeavours such as demos and EPs, it was time to let those morbid feelings loose under a full-length release and with label as the supporting backside. “The Cruelty Of Great Expectations” via the British Rundown Records is the new experience where Gothic and Doom Metal meet modern Heavy Metal.

HONEY FOR CHRIST, besides being somewhat melancholic, at least by the way of how I distinguished their music, was a little mysterious to me. The reason I kept that notion in mind was due to my opinion that not everything is as it seems on this album. At first it sounded like yet another Gothic / Doom Metal album in the veins ofBLACK SABBATH, PARADISE LOST, ENTWINE and THE PROPHECY, but I found it to be much more. I believe that only after taking this album apart, meaning listening to each and every song to a certain extent will reveal the true picture. If you lost me there, I can ease it up on you by directing you to the band’s lyrical themes. Merely most of the mystery settled on the words. When it comes to the music, I deem that you won’t have a hard time to comprehend what these guys played here.

The large majority of the main riffages on “The Cruelty Of Great Expectations”, especially on several songs as the epic“Failures Within”, for example, repeated time after time quite often. Nevertheless, I can’t deny that those riffages were heavy, groovy, chunky and enjoyable if you aim to bang your head or plainly take pleasure in the power those hold. Alongside those intense natured thick sounded riffs, HONEY FOR CHRIST amazed with high profile tranquil riffages that set a fantastic sensation. When I listened to the final track, my favourite, “The Final Transition”, I felt something of like an electric rush bursting through my skin. That was awesome and not entirely by the hammering distorted riffs. As an addition, the chorus of that song was only an appetizer in comparison to the riffs.

Nevertheless, there was another thing beyond the riffs as I was also astonished by the vocal line of Andy Clarke. His voice pattern also enhanced the mystery that I shared with you earlier. Out on the open Clarke addressed with his words with a touchy and emotive voice that shared some great vocalic rhythms. “The Day We Lost Everything”, above and beyond being lyrically impressive, presented Clarke as a singer that can flush out his emotions while giving a weird idea as if he is holding back something or binding expectations of what will come next. I conjured that the addition of a sort of cold dimension in his singing might have contracted that something different is about to rupture.

Although it seems that this album totally bought me, I have to partly disagree. The first thing that bothered me was the fact that HONEY FOR CHRIST didn’t even try to make use of a lead section. There was many of what I call “dead spots” that could have been upgraded by lead guitar notes or maybe touches of keyboards. I suppose that if there is an intent to play a sort of emotive music, a lead section must be secured. Moreover, there were a few tracks like “Liar Principle” and “Blame Corrupts” that had a nice direction but seemed empty after all. Don’t get this wrong, those two has strong potential, above all the former that has peak moments, but sadly their prospect wasn’t fully recognized I am afraid.

“The Cruelty Of Great Expectations”is something to think about. Listening to it carefully will bring an understanding of a little bit of what went in the mind of its creators. This album is recommended not only for Doom / Gothic Metal fans. If you have a thing for Heavy Metal in general, a British band is always suggested.

8/10 : Excellent

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