HistoryEbony Tears is an At The Gates-influenced thrash band from Sweden. The band flirts with folk rock elements at time but is still credible. The band left Black Sun in 2000 and, reportedly, signed to USG but was back at Black Sun after the USG' bankruptcy! In 2000 there were additional reports that the band is no more and the members will work with Dog Faced Gods on USG Records, yet Evil As Hell was out a year later.
EBONY TEARS - A HANDFUL OF NOTHING - NECROPOLIS/BLACK SUN
As you will notice shortly Necropolis Records of California is getting many reviews in this issue. As you will read in the new section, they have been busy doing things for themselves. While I was Ok with these Swedes debut album, I had to be very optimistic to believe they will release anything like this as their follow up. Is this a new trend? Read about a Belgian band dumping their keyboardist in the news section, read about the Satanica album below and remember something about My Dying Bride recently?? Even if the line up for Ebony Tears (yes, indeed a suspect moniker) still names a violinist, the retard barely makes an appearance - in fact he's only on one quasi-track! A Handful...instead is a stormer of a deathrash album. Taking its cue from At The Gates' Slaughter...album and the post-Slayer school of extremity, the Scandinavians unleash a frontal speed-oriented assault that can only come from Sweden. Raspy vocals a la the aforementioned ATG, and well-tuned sharp guitars lead the charge closely followed by a booming drummer who knows how to hit with impact. This is not for Cradle of hype fans, but for metal fans. You know who you are...get it. - Ali "The Metallian"
EBONY TEARS - EVIL AS HELL - BLACK SUN/CENTURY MEDIA
While the debut of Ebony Tears was a generally likable album, the band experienced marked improvement with its second album which I generally admired. This, despite a feeling that the Swedes are a little too close for comfort to their compatriots At The Gates. Those ATG influences have diminished and are now partly replaced by a mixture of new Slayer, Crowbar and Meshuggah. The music, as delivered by the new line up of Ebony Tears, is generally fast thrash and likely fun stuff to listen to for any metal fan. Having said that, this will be my least preferred ET album. For there is a general feeling here that Evil As Hell is introducing several 'extraneous' influences to the fray. Negative Creep features an ambient keyboard background usually utilized by MTV bands. Lowdown has a mid-section reminiscent of Cathedral and Hands Of Doom kicks off precisely like the beginning of a famous Van Halen song. The album ends with Demon Ride which features the most overt manifestations of commercialism: the ever-wasteful female vocals. All in all, while a generally solid thrash album, Evil As Hell interjects several signs best associated with bands on their way out of the consciousness of metal fans. - Ali "The Metallian"