Israel’s Tomorrow’s Rain evolved out of the well-regarded dark metal act, Moonchild, when founder member, Yishai Swearts, changed the name of the band for a support show with Dark Tranquillity in 2011. They disappeared yet again for another four years until getting back together in 2015. Fast forward to 2020 and we finally have a debut album from the quintet. Was it worth the wait after so many false dawns?
The answer from their contemporaries is a solid yes. Members of Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Draconian, Septic Flesh, Rotting Christ and even Jeff Loomis make an appearance on Hollow. And it’s likely you’ll also side with the greats after one listen to this record. Yes, the album may boast an impressive ensemble of metal legends, yet they never overshadow the excellent foundations of the music. Tomorrow’s Rain are not here to pay homage.
The most surprising aspect of the band is how they anchor their sound in the sorrowful serenades of 1980s English goth music and coat it in the esoteric mist of 1990s American darkwave. At its core is the savage death-doom of the classic Peaceville bands. It makes for a fascinating journey throughout and captivates like an endless bridleway in the English countryside that could lead on forever without encountering another human presence. Feel the drizzle on your head and the scent of wet shrubbery on your nostrils as you marvel at the trees overhead. And what better way to start than with a song called ‘Trees’? Here we get reverb-drenched guitar arpeggios and luscious melodies underscored by bass notes, cymbal crashes and atmospheric keyboards. It’s as if Paradise Lost decided to write a sequel to Gothic and invested it with another realm of melodies unthinkable in 1991. This is how you write gothic metal.
No songs on this record are average; every track has its merits. ‘Fear’ features My Dying Bridge legend Aaron Stainthorpe and mixes early Anathema with illuminous melodies set to a doom metal framework. It’s a pleasure identifying the numerous layers in the music, including the subtle keyboard textures. More importantly, they remember that this is a metal record. The opening riffs on ‘Misery Rain’ are as strident as My Dying Bride’s Like Gods of the Sun record while the colossal interplay between crunchy guitars and double-bass drums on ‘Into the Mouth of Madness’ give way to wonderful verses of Leonard Cohen-esque charisma with piano and bass melodies enhancing the magic. Throw in two shredding solos from Jeff Loomis (Nevermore, Arch Enemy) and you have a song brimming with ideas and a vision that is just as impressive.
The only drawback to Hollow is the lack of choruses. Music steeped in the fog of 1980s goth land needs anthems, but Tomorrow’s Rain prefer to hold back and build to a climax using dynamics and layers rather than fist-pumping lyrics. Most of the time it’s not a problem and you can listen to the entirety of the album without complaint or fear that it may turn sterile. Yishai Swearts’ growls are malevolent yet epic and fit well with the rain-swept melodies and pounding metal riffs. There’s a lot to like and so much to discover on repeat listens.
Tomorrow’s Rain are one of the undoubted success stories of 2020. It took nine years to get here but let’s hope the follow up is ready in half that time and just as good as this offering.
Release Date: 11/09/2020
Record Label: AOP Records
Standout tracks: Fear, In the Corner of a Dead End Street, Misery Rain
Suggested Further Listening: My Dying Bride – Like Gods of the Sun (1996), Sisters of Mercy – First and Last and Always (1985), Anathema – The Silent Enigma (1995)