Forever Autumn Records
The Sorrows is the second release by the NYC-based band Imbolg. Imbolg is fronted and created
by singer/guitarist Nate Dal Cais, supported by Kitty Hawke on bass, Mark Demon on backing
vocals, and Ken Holley on drums, a cousin of the famous and legendary Buddy Holly. With this
lineup, one should be at the very least interested in how they sound! Their main influences
consist of traditional hard rock and metal. You can definitely hear the Black Sabbath, Type O
Negative, and Danzig touches in the songs. Let’s dive into this new album!
Seeing how I met Nate through a mutual friend in the local music scene, I was ambitiously looking around for new music. Nate gave me his first CD, the self-titled album Imbolg. Comparing both releases, The Sorrows has generally WAY better production. The sound on this album is much crisper, however, it’s still not at the best level that I know it can sound at.
1) The Search Within
2) Red Devil
3) Your Darkest Day
6) Paler Still
7) Love Poison
8) An Autumn Night
9) The Tides
The Sorrows is a solid album through and through, but I will nitpick at its strengths and weaknesses. Opening with the instrumental “The Search Within”, it immediately forebodes a sense a caution and melancholy. The powerful keyboards give us a somber intro, leading into the single Red Devil. The guitars are overpowered by the synthesizers, which I can understand seeing how it contains the main melody, but it would have sounded better balanced out. The song can definitely be a Goth rock classic in the future, but the vocals need to be more prominent. The chorus is pretty catchy, but the octave that Nate sings in is very low and deep. Sometimes I felt that it’s too far out of his range, and that I advise that he shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with higher registers. Moving into “Your Darkest Day”, we build into a heavier song, where Nate does sing higher, and I feel this is his best work so far singing. The instruments are much more balanced but the guitar tone still bothers me, especially before the breakdown when the guitar has the chugging solo part. The drums and bass are very powerful here, but they could be a bit tighter to give it a very strong ending. So far, I prefer “Red Devil” as a song overall, but prefer “Your Darkest Day” in terms of the vocals and instrumentation and the little details.
For “Edward”, it has a little intro that sounds it was recorded straight out of a movie. The song itself is inspired by film Edward Scissorhands by Tim Burton. It’s very, very synth heavy but it sounds really nice. I feel the levels of the synth is how the guitar should have sounded in the last two tracks. The guitar has parts in the song, but it’s mixed very well to add to the atmosphere in the song. “Disappeared” is one of my favorite tracks off this album, I just really enjoy it. However, I feel it could have been greatly improved in regards to the rhythm and bass guitar riffs. If the whole song was tighter, and the drums mixed better, this would have been a great deep cut. I love the vocal melody that Nate sings during the verses. “Paler Still” is a nice simple punky song that is very reminiscent of The Misfits. Maybe if the backing vocals played a prominent role in this song, it would have done the song justice. I like singing my own backing harmonies in this song on my own! We slow down with “Love Poison”, and the guitar tone again annoys me a little bit. The bass and drums are overpowering the clean guitar, and that’s about the only problem with this song. It’s about here, that I start to skip tracks (just a personal thing). “An Autumn Night” is a really great ballad and duet between Nate on vocals/piano and guest Helen Buyniski on violin. A beautiful tune, it’s dedicated to one of Nate’s friends who passed away from suicide. This whole song is a heartfelt message to those struggling with suicidal thoughts and disorders. This song is also another one of my favorites off the album, solely on how much humanity pours out from this song. Rounding off with “The Tides”, it’s again very similar to The Misfits. I love how I can honestly get confused as to who’s singing, whether it be Misfits or my friend Nate! It’s a nice finisher to the album, and I expected there to be more because this song gets you hype.
Immediately after hearing both albums, I can say that “The Sorrows” is a huge step forward for Imbolg. I know they aren’t there yet, I know they can do way better, but I am definitely proud of these guys for growing and evolving slowly and surely. I give “The Sorrows” a 7/10, due to the great work and effort put in, but still lacks in so many areas to get a higher rating. The flaws overall are just vocal delivery, instrument tones and levels, and tightness of the band. I can’t wait for their next album as I do enjoy this band!
Nate Dal Cais – Guitar, vocals, synthesizers, piano
Kitty Hawke – bass guitar
Mark Demon – backing vocals
Ken Holley – drums