Sorrow Of The Angels

by While Heaven Wept

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From the moment the moniker While Heaven Wept had been settled upon in 1991 (after 2 years cycling through a series of names), it was a personal mission of mine to realize the "Sorrow Of The Angels" album - a collection of material I'd written between the ages of 15 and 18, which was far more than a musical ambition, rather an emotional necessity; this music was the only way I'd found to express the very dark thoughts and feelings I had in the wake of several life-altering changes, that I wasn't yet equipped to deal with otherwise. Ultimately, it was always destined to be a rather bleak affair given I was coping with loss, abandonment, confusion, anger, and despair - perhaps not via the most mature of expressions, but very real nonetheless (and certainly healthier than my self-destructive tendencies at the time). In truth, it was indeed meant to be an epitaph, but for countless reasons I'm glad it instead heralded a new beginning by the time we finally managed to realize the album. Perhaps there were some unseen forces at work that always prevented me from feeling completely satisfied with the results of our recordings - yes, my penchant for perfectionism can be traced back to this album in particular, being that we attempted to record it on three separate occasions, with three different line-ups (drummer Jon Paquin and myself being the only constants throughout) and frankly, even when I left the studio in June 1998 with the version you're now holding in your hands, I was dissatisfied with it on a number of levels. Perhaps, it really was the album I wasn't meant to make due to the grave intentions I'd harbored had it been successfully completed in 1993-94...apparently something out in the cosmos had other plans for me instead...but I was too driven to give up on it's realization. Throughout the years and many attempts to complete the album, the material continued to evolve all the way through my time spent with Solstice and the summer of 1996, thus the final tracklist was amended several times. Being that we all felt that the recently completed "Thus With A Kiss I Die" (after six years of working on it) epitomized all that While Heaven Wept was up to that point, it became the focal point of this third recording of the album and remains a staple of our live sets to this day. Despite my desire to completely re-visit the "Sorrow Of The Angels" album a 4th time still (and finally capture what I'd always heard in my head), for many years now I've been receiving requests to make it available once again - and this is one motivation behind releasing this version, which is identical to the original Eibon CD. Additionally, though the audio content was for the most part included as part of the Metal Supremacy 2LP Anthology “Chapter One: 1989-1999” back in 2002, sides 2 and 3 of that set were flawed due to a miscommunication on my part – most people are aware that WHW albums typically feature continuous sound, but this aspect was overlooked during the pressing of that compilation unfortunately, so another motivation for this new LP edition is to finally rectify this. That being said, this is somewhat of a compromise between my own ambitions and the want to satisfy the demand for it, in that, once again, it is limited to a one-time pressing of 500 copies, the only difference being newly updated graphics and this long-winded epistle I'm writing to you now! I suppose it's also appropriate in commemoration of our 20th Anniversary this year, and another opportunity to say thank YOU for all these years of incredible support; While Heaven Wept couldn't have lasted this long without YOU, so I hope you will accept this small token of our appreciation...really...thank you so much...I hope you'll find something meaningful in these ancient recordings!

Tom Phillips,
November 2009


released October 18, 1998

Sorrow Of The Angels was:

Composed and arranged by: Tom Phillips

Performed by: Tom Phillips – Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards
Jon Paquin – Drums
Danny Ingerson – Bass, Keyboards

Recorded at: Neptune Recording Studios in August 1997, and January-June 1998

Recorded by: Max Henkel and JP Maheu

Mixed by: Tom Phillips, Jon Paquin, and JP Maheu

Mastered by: JP Maheu

Band Photography: Emilie Raguso

Original Cover art: "Angel In Chains" (1874) by Odilon Redon, out of copyright.

Art Concept and designs by: Jim Hunter and Tom Phillips

Band Logo by: Tamara Abarzua

Graphics, Design, and Digital Treatment by:

Website Design and Maintenance: Estelle Motsiou

All Songs Copyright 1998, 2010, 2015 Vast Music Lachrymose

Band Websites:,



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While Heaven Wept Woodbridge, Virginia

While Heaven Wept has existed in various forms since 1989 and co-founding guitarist/composer Tom Phillips has been the one constant for the past 25 years. Since the beginning, there has been a wide range of influences, transcending forms, styles, and genres from epic metal to kosmiche musik, prog to neo-romanticism. While Heaven Wept is currently signed to Nuclear Blast Records. ... more

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Track Name: Thus With A Kiss I Die
Tears fall from my somber stare
Abandoned and nobody cares
I watched you walk away
As if I were never there
You said you’re not the only one in this world
Yet you’re the only one I’ve ever loved
From my sole sanctuary exiled
And likewise heaven above

You have forsaken me

Sleepwalk to the gallows
To expel my hollow soul
Unto fire, unto cold
Into hell I must go
A broken heart, a broken wing, I’m falling
Into this pain deep within
Infinitely spiraling
To my sorrow-filled end

You have foredoomed me

“When again these eyes you gaze into
You’ll see I’m still reaching for you”

“How could you leave me here?”

You have forgotten me
Track Name: Into The Wells Of Sorrow
Ghostwinds draw forth the clouds
That will shroud me in black forever
Once again I stare into the night
Darkness binds my life and death together

The dark clouds a portrait of her
The black-cloaked face of death
Her empty eyes a hallway to heaven
But my sanctum is beyond unfathomed depths

I will never be at rest
Until the sun forever sets

A solemn walk through this maze of paled stones
Monuments to the ending of pain
Souls cry forth from eternal sanctum
Knowing only death remains

Now I stand before the altar
They call me from ethereal gates
I raise my head in dignity
Knowing only death is the absence of pain
Track Name: The Death Of Love
The once beautiful flower has withered and gone
It is memory’s charnel vast that I weepeth on
Lifeless, this lonely heart swoons ‘neath my breast
For my tears bring you back not, from silent rest

Lamentations and woe, peace never shall I know
Blood less bitter be than these tears brackish with sorrow
Every promise ever born now lay broken
False words are better left asleep on thy lips than spoken

With autumn’s dirge summer doth end
And dreams, like leaves, decay into the wind
Pallid as the breath on which they blow
Is my heart, buried ‘neath a solemn pall of snow

This ice holds not sanctum, nor reason
For thy heart’s swift change of season
With your dying, element and emotion unfold
And I, I live no longer in this cold

“Sadness, unlike love, is eternal”
Track Name: September