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