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Go to the Bay Laurel website  Bay Laurel - Where Pain Comes To Die [Noxious - 2000]

Buy this CD now!
Describing Bay Laurel as a gothic rock band would be quite accurate musically speaking. But when I think about gothic rock I usually expect something German and boring, and Bay Laurel is neither from Germany nor sleep-inducing.

I haven’t heard one of the earlier albums from this Swedish band, although they’ve been around since 1993. It was the soundtrack from the Norwegian cartoon “Nemi” that made me check out this album from Bay Laurel, since the band was featured with one track. Actually the band had two more full-lengths and two singles out, and both got good response from the press. Various line-up changes made the band how it is now, and with these four members they recorded “Where Pain Comes To Die”.

The album takes off with “Strive”, a track with a catchy refrain and this song is a good indication how the rest of the album will sound. It certainly has some metal shining through, and it ‘s much harder than I expected. But above all sadness and melancholia play first fiddle, and it won’t decrease until the end of the CD. The title says enough when listening to the second track “A Misery Song”, followed by “Pale Colours”, also featured on the “Nemi” compilation. This track is one of the best on the album, not only because of the lyrics:

Today we’re through with this life.
Today there’s no need to try.
The time is here but we’ve got nothing to fear.
We’re not alone but it’s so hard to go.
And you know...
It’s much better now when I’m gone.

We’re not done yet, because with a playing time of slightly more than forty minutes we get seven more songs in the same vein, including “Outside These Walls”, together with the earlier mentioned “Pale Colours” one of the best gothic rock songs I’ve heard. “Where Pain Comes To Die” ends with the title song which has the percussion more in front and the guitars in the background, maybe because this song is recorded live without overdubs, according to the booklet. A perfect ending I should say.

Bay Laurel is very comparable to Fields Of The Nephilim and is not the most original band I’ve heard. But I’m convinced that there are far more uninteresting bands in the gothic rock genre, and Bay Laurel have what sometimes is hard to find in this genre: good musicianship. Besides that, they deserve credit for the vocals, lyrics and production. “Where Pain Comes To Die” is a release that is certainly worth checking out.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Justin Faase
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