The Russians Wine From Tears had already put themselves on the map in 2009 with the interesting Through The Eyes Of A Mad, an album that showed a death doom in the midst of evolution but already able to immediately bring itself to attention. Glad To Be Dead comes after a good four years, during which the band has improved exponentially, and it does not seem excessive to say that this is the record of consecration. In fact, this is the work of a mature band, aware of its means and, above all, of its goals. While the sonic canvas followed by Wine From Tears does not deviate much from the reference names, in this case predominantly Swallow The Sun and, partially, Saturnus, it is equally true that the quality expressed in all the tracks makes up for this “flaw,” if one can call it that. From the very first track, Allergic Sun, which follows the usual intro, it is easy to detect a surprising ease on the part of ours in creating mournful if not too funereal harmonies; but it is in the following What Are You Waiting For? that the sound is cloaked in an intense and moving atmosphere, thanks to Alexander Kudryashov’s splendid lead guitar, giving rise to what is probably the album’s peak. Throughout the rest of the work, however, the level remains extremely high thanks to the timely use of the aforementioned elegant guitar melodies, particularly in the majestic In Memory Of The Truth. In juxtaposing Wine From Tears with Swallow The Sun, the reference occurs more naturally towards the last work of the Finnish masters, characterized by a more open sound and melodic contaminations close to gothic, while Saturnus peeps out in Like A Fallen Leaf and, more so, in the structure of the long and iridescent The Light At The End Of The World (which is then also the title of a My Dying Bride album, just to close the circle), especially in the use of recitative resting on soft harmonies. Also having said the not insignificant Let Me In, which in its use of clean vocals by Alexey Nesterov (author of a test of great versatility) vaguely brings back memories of Evereve’s early work, the only track that is not entirely convincing is the concluding Silence No More, a gothic with female vocals that is well executed but emotionally a bit out of context with the rest of the album. Glad To Be Dead, even with this last exception, is a work that allows a suffused grief with a decadent aura to shine through, far from the dulling despair of funeral. In a time of tarnishing, hopefully only momentary, of some of the leading bands of the Russian scene, Wine From Tears turns out to be more than a pleasant confirmation or diversion from the most celebrated names in death doom: this record, in fact, shines sufficiently in its own light and deserves without any doubt to become part of the collection of those who want to be lulled by evocative and melancholic sounds.

2013 – BadMoodMan Music