It’s rare when you write a review and you hear back from the artist you were critiquing.
Tom Phillips of While Heaven Wept apparently is not your average musician, and he took time to read the review that appeared on this site last week of their new album “Fear of Infinity” (which was republished at metalmaniacs.com) and responded to what he read. Refreshingly, he supplied a good bit of background on the album and a further look into the material, so that readers could know more about what they are hearing. I include myself in that. These days, most of what I review comes by way of digital promos. Those are basically simple downloads of the album, with album art and a bio. You don’t have the full package art, and you usually don’t have access to the lyrics. It makes it a little tougher to fully flesh out an album’s meaning, so when artists such as Phillips take time to spell it out in more detail, you take advantage of that insight. Musically, I’m not sure my opinion will change, and I do find it a good album, just not a great one. But I’ll keep an open mind, and maybe what I know now will give me a greater sense of what’s going on during “Fear of Infinity.”
So below is Tom’s response, which he posted beneath my review at Metal Maniacs. Again, I thank Tom for taking the time to write back and shine a brighter light on their new disc. Here it is:
Brian….first of all cheers for your honest review, it is very much appreciated. I wanted to clarify a couple things personally regarding the music of While Heaven Wept and also the new album. First off, WHW is in fact genreless; we never ascribed to a particular style or genre and are ever-changing with each album. No single genre could ever accurately describe what we do – the reality it is simply Metal with genuine heart and soul….it takes 25 adjectives to completely and accurately describe what WHW is. We have no problem being referred to as “Doom” “Epic” “Prog” “Power” or any of the other tags or combinations hung on our music, but in the end if you survey the entire discography it would be impossible to say it’s all one thing. As for “Fear Of Infinity” itself, it is important that people understand exactly what this album is: the completion of a very real, personal process of grieving that began with “Vast Oceans Lachrymose”. It is a challenging album that requires numerous listens to absorb and understand…this was the case even for myself. But if you approach it knowing that “VOL” represented the first two stages of bereavement (Shock/Disbelief and Denial), “FOI” continues on through anger, despair, and finally reaches acceptance at the very end. None of this was intentional…and I didn’t even realize it myself until we were on the other side of all this….I was living and healing through this music. So I hope this will provide some light for all those who will take the journey through both of these albums as it does make a difference. Thank you again for the quality review. I assure you that “Fear Of Infinity” was the exact album that needed to be made…and also consider it, like all of our albums is meant to be heard as a whole. Cheers! – Tom Phillips
To buy While Heaven Wept’s new album, go here: http://store.nuclearblastusa.com/Search/while_heaven_wept
For more on the band, go here: http://whileheavenwept.com/