While Heaven Wept – “Vast Ocean Lachrymose” (2009)


Label : Cruz Del Sur Music

Review By Tony Cannella

From Virginia, While Heaven Wept have been around since around 1994. They play progressive metal and their line-up includes current and past members of Brave, Twisted Tower Dire and October 31 among others. Their newest release is titled “Vast Oceans Lachrymose” and it is a welcomed treat for those of us who love complex, epic progressive metal in the vein of John Arch era Fates Warning. The songs on “Vast Oceans Lachrymose” definitely harkens back to the majesty of those early Fates’ records, whilst still carving out a niche for themselves in today’s metal landscape. Male vocalist Rain Irving handles all of the lead vocals and he certainly has a strong and powerful voice. The keyboardist for this project is Michelle Schrotz who also happens to be the lead vocalist for Virginia progressive metallers Brave, here she also contributes harmony vocals. I was drawn in from the very first track, the 16-minute “The Furthest Shore” really sets the mood and vibe right away. Next is “To Wander the Void” and this is something of an homage to Fates Warning – great lyrics and harmonies help to make this a worthy tribute and one of the best songs on this disc. The band quicken the pace with the next track “Living Sepulchre”, that segues into the moody track “Vessels”. The CD is completed with two instrumentals. “Vast Oceans Lachrymose” and “Epilogue” are a great way to end things. The lyrics are somewhat ambiguous and can be interpreted in different ways, which was another check in the plus column for “Vast Oceans Lachrymose”. I was shocked to find out that While Heaven Wept have such an extensive history. “Vast Oceans Lachrymose” is actually their third full-length release and the 6-songs and 42-minutes worth of standout material should appeal to fans of classy, progressive metal, that still maintains it’s heaviness. Besides, anyone who sites John Arch era Fates Warning as an inspiration is okay in my book. Regardless, While Heaven Wept are not a band that will appeal to all the trendy, mall metal fans, but if you are looking for something that really does have a lot of heart and integrity than check this band out.

Rating – 90/100



  1. The Furthest Shore
  2. To Wander the Void
  3. Living Sepulchre
  4. Vessel
  5. Vast Oceans Lachrymose
  6. Epilogue


Line Up

  • Rain Irving – Lead & Harmony Vocals
  • Scott Loose – Guitars
  • Tom Phillips – Guitars, Keyboards & Harmony Vocals
  • Michelle Schrotz – Keyboards & Harmony Vocals
  • Jim Hunter – Bass
  • Trevor Schrotz – Drums



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