To/Die/For - Wounds Wide Open
You may run from sorrow, but sorrow will find you...

So begins the the latest output from Finland's To/Die/For. "Wounds Wide Open" is an album filled with feelings of regret, loss and. sorrow. Though many of the lyrics have a bleak outlook, they are carried out with a bittersweet beauty and with the music being extremely infectious the result is strangely comforting and uplifting.

This fifth To/Die/For album is the second release from the "new" incarnation of the band. Lead singer and main songwriter Jape Perätalo is still the focuspoint of the band. His voice is filled with melancholy and perfectly brings out the emotion needed for these songs to work. Gothic Heavy Rock is probably the closest I can come to name the genre.
As was the case on "IV" the keyboards and effects have now taken a backseat in favor of a much more guitar based approach. The songs still have an abundance of keyboards but they are just not as up front as on for example, Jaded. It gives the album a different feel and I often miss the keyboard effects, but the music survives just fine as it is.
The guitar work by Joonas Koto and Antza Talala is excellent throughout, especially the solos. The band has evolved since their last release and the songs are less chorus-based this time, but the key element is still intact, namely the infectous melodies and the strong atmosphere.

The album has taken a lot longer than Jaded and IV to get under my skin, but now, after more than 20 spins it has grown into something quite splendid. Every song has something to offer and the album overall feels very well woven together, like a big ball of gloom. Many details are hidden in the fabric of the songs and after many listens the melodies really come to life and give the album a long lasting life.

The evolution the band has taken has also brought them on a more symphonic path. The bombastic opening to Wicked Circle illustrates this very well with choirs and a thick heavy sound. The chorus is not straight forward but has a great build-up.

Guilt ridden state builds slightly manic tension during the verses and releases most of it in the heavy chorus. Yet the song feels held back somehow, like it harbors some unknown force that refuses to leave. Very well done.

Like never before on the other hand opens up right from the start with an uptempo beat and an overall positive feeling. This feeling is taken to another level in the highly charged chorus where bright rays of light shine through the otherwise gloomy atmosphere that encompasses the album. A brilliant song and one of my absolute favorites. The keyboard during the chorus makes the song soar.

As I made my way through the album I found myself caught up in the raging sea of emotions that flow through the songs and I was wowed by the layers of detail that revealed themselves upon each new listen. One example is The Quiet Room which started out as one of the songs I didn't notice, but with each listen it grew and now I can't help but feel touched by the unbound sadness and feeling of loss that the song invokes.

The obligatory cover song of a To/Die/For album is always something to look forward to. This time Ozzy Osbourne's I just want you is taken under their wings and it fits nicely into the overall album.

Sorrow Remains is a fantastic closer. The song has a special intensity and leaves a lasting impression as well as that feeling that you have to go back and hear the album one more time. The superbly intense chorus is one I will never tire of.

I can't really say anything negative, the album feels complete in its own right.
"Wounds Wide Open" may lack some immediate ear hangers, but with time it grows into a solid, high quality release that shows longevity beyond the norm. Check it out, have some patience, and you may be rewarded big time.

Written by Steen
Thursday, December 7, 2006
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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by metalman (Anonymous) - Friday, December 8, 2006
Like never before ,yeah my fav as well

a great free flowing cd

Comment by darkangelkatie (Anonymous) - Thursday, January 18, 2007
This album is fantastic. I love it! The best song is the new heaven or the scar diary...but all songs are very great!

Review by Steen

Released by
Spinefarm - 2006

01. Intro - Sorrow
02. Wicked Circle
03. Guilt Ridden State
04. Like Never Before
05. Under A Velvet Sky
06. Scar Diary
07. New Heaven
08. The Quiet Room
09. Liquid Lies
10. (I Just) Want You [Ozzy Osbourne cover]
11. Sorrow Remains

Gothic heavy rock

Related links
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To/Die/For - Official Website

Other articles
Jaded - (Steen)

IV - (Steen)

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