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Tears Of Mankind - Without Ray of Hope/SCP025

Formed in 2002, Tears of Mankind is a solo project of Russian composer Philipp Skobelin.
Often, when a solo project takes place, the founder gets the help of another musician for helping out with his weaknesses, like a drummer for instance. Here, I believe that Philipp should have recruited a vocalist since his clean vocals are shaky and imprecise. He´s very self-sufficient as far as playing guitars, bass, drums and keyboards though. His compositions aim toward a somber Doom direction with hints of Gothic, while sophisticated orchestration comes in to add a melodic side to a more crunchy and heavy overall atmosphere. This is his debut, but amongst the tracks are found some titles taken from his earlier ten demos. One remarkable aspect of Without Ray of Hope is that it was recorded in his home studio with outstanding sound quality. "Eternal Sadness" is quite a heavy number with down-tuned guitars. Introduced by echoing arpeggios, "Deep Inside the Silence" contains a nice sounding organ and retakes the crushing riffs found on track 2. Some female back vocals and ambient keyboards trace a smooth melodic line on spot #6, "From Dark to Light". As we near the end, the album gets better. "The River" mixes perfectly folksy mandolin, violins (keyboards?) and good crushing parts. A very slow/down-tuned guitar work on one hand, and acoustic guitars plus orchestral breaks on the other grace "The Winter Dance"; definitely one of my favorite song. Then comes the beautiful, cinematic orchestral instrumental "Sweet Harmony", closing the album perfectly.
4/5 Pagan Shadow - The Metal Crypt zine

Tears Of Mankind - Without Ray of Hope/SCP025

2006 proved to be a good year for one of Russias top underground gothic doom metal band Tears of Mankind. Released was an exceptional opus by the name of Without Ray of Hope. It is a twist of gothic style doom metal and even a classic rock influence in the music as well. Tears of Mankind have a classy image in their style of playing. When I hear this album I think of the more recent works of Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride, better yet, even Cathedral. Without Ray of Hope has eleven songs with a total playing time of one hour and thirteen minutes! Plenty of music to move the listener into that doom metal realm. Certain songs give a Tears of Mankind that mood not so easily created by other bands, a darkened but glorified mood I guess. Songs that come to mind are Without Hope, Theme of Laura and Eternal Sadness (this song really reminds me of My Dying Brides second release As the Flower Withers. Dont get me wrong, even though you can hear the obvious influence in the music, Tears of Mankind manage to keep their original sound and style throughout the album. Without Ray of Hope is a wonderful opus of doom metal from a hell of a killer doom metal band!
4,5/5 Alex - Burning Misery zine

Tears Of Mankind - Without Ray of Hope/SCP025

For a lot of musicians their music is like a drug and I think the release of over 10 demos within only 4 years should justify this terminus for the one man project TEARS OF MANKIND. Their debut Without Ray of Hope has been released in 2006 by Stygian Crypt and the album is not really a debut but more or less a compilation of the best demo material. The 11 songs are value for money and the influences within the over 70 minutes are raging from calm Gothic Metal influenced by the gods of British Gothic/Doom PARADISE LOST to more colorful songs which could be also summarized as Avantgarde Metal. Not all songs can impress on the same level but the wide variety makes this album so interesting songs like From Dark to Light or The River offering a real new approach to the well known Doom cosmos. The layout is also supporting the musical background with a booklet & cover in some way inspired by Salvador Dali means very avantgardistic. In total an album for all fans of Metal without boundaries which are still looking for special music in this Black & Death Metal dominated world.
Matthias Auch / Voices from the Darkside