Shape of Despair – Monotony Fields ALBUM REVIEW

The timing of my listening to this album couldn’t be better, because I’m actually starting to get into funeral doom, having just given Ahab a try recently. Having absolutely loved it, I figured it would be a good time to finally give this a listen. It’s not often that a funeral doom album from a completely new/unheard of band gets high in the charts so quickly after it’s release, so I was very intrigued as to what people saw in this. Unfortunately, what I got was a bland, uninspired, mess of sameness that bored me to tears. I can actually recall the one moment on this album where I thought I was hearing something with creativity involved, at that was on the third track. Towards the middle, at basically the climax, there are these clean vocals singing/chanting what is essentially a pretty sounding tritone. Throughout the entire album, the atmosphere is incredibly neutral, feeling like neither a dark and crushing funeral, nor a melancholy and depressive introspection. It feels like nothing, which is what I ultimately get out of this. It actually feels like you wasted your time listening to this, that you got nothing out of it. But that one section with tritone chant, that’s the one section where I feel there’s personality to it. Where I’m hearing something with any sort of imagination, something new. It takes advantage of the neutral atmosphere and creates a true feeling of being inbetween dark and light, not because it’s neither, but because it feels both hopeful, and hopeless at the same time. It’s a wonderful yet uncomfortable feeling that I’ve rarely ever heard duplicated. Too bad that’s nowhere else on the album. I don’t even want to say this album had potential because of that one moment, I do think it shows that this band is at the very least, capable of making 1 minute of their 10 minute long borefests interesting. That’s more than I can say for some bands, but enough to give this any kind of a good score.


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