Throes of Dawn – Our Voices Shall Remain

Absolutely gorgeous. Immensely melancholy, sad, soothing, and smooth. It’s like hearing your hands run through silk. I love all the little bit and pieces they put into each track to make them interesting, like the saxophone on One of Us Is Missing, or the piano throughout the album. It runs a bit long, and I feel like it has a little bit too much of a “putting you to sleep” vibe, but it’s lovely none the less. Very relaxing if anything else.


8.5/10

Evig Natt – Evig Natt

You know you’re in for something interesting when you get that spicy straight from photoshop cover art. Like, it’s a house, no effects you could pull off could possibly make it look spooky and menacing. To the music, there actually isn’t much here that’s worth talking about. The climaxes sound generally the same (soaring female vocals over doom chugs and symphonics), the music itself is rather bland, and the only thing I can really mention is the hilariously bad use of a theremin towards the end of the album. Overall it sounds like a slightly heavier and better done Evanescence. It’s not bad, just not really worth listening to seriously.


5.75/10

Dissona – Paleopneumatic

Holy shit there is a lot going on here. It’s hard to write a detailed review of this album just because of the sheer amount of stuff they put here. I can’t even fully wrap my head around it. Choirs, electronic synths, violins, tribal drums, acoustic guitars, death vocals, clean vocals, technical wank solos, harpsichords, full orchestras. Dissona did just about everything in their power to make this the most try hard epic album humanly possible. There’s so much hyper over the top bombastic bullshit in this album that it makes me want to puke.

Here’s the thing though: it actually works. While I do feel like this album is a supreme form of cancerous wank, in the back of my mind I can’t help but think “but it’s actually working”. Despite initial reaction of disgust, I can’t help but admit that despite trying so damn hard to create something superficially epic, that they actually managed to succeed in that manner. Despite having so many ideas, they all actually tie in together pretty well and never do I feel like anything they do doesn’t work. Despite creating an album that is a checklist of cancer in prog metal, Dissona managed to beat the odds and actually achieve the goal that so many other similar bands don’t: they created a true epic.

And it’s hard to really articulate why it works so well. The one thing I can maybe point to is the fact that the production job is extremely professional, and there are no shortcuts taken (like having midi choirs). Other than that, I feel like this is just an example of a band taking a lot of tried ideas, and actually executing them well for once.

Paleopneumatic (god could you get a more pretentious title?) is a higher-than-thou wankfest of the highest degree, the kind of album that your friend who loves Dream Theater would link you every day so that they may convert you to the prog side in the most annoying way possible. As a whole, it is pure, unfiltered cancer to a community already infected with it.

But it’s also good. Really good.


8/10

My Dying Bride – Feel the Misery ALBUM REVIEW

My original experience with My Dying Bride was not a good one. I felt like they overdid it on the gothic aspect, creating something cheesy rather than dark and beautiful. In their latest record, Bride rejects their roots somewhat and goes with a much more straightforward, and down to earth sound that baths you in a sea of despair, engulfing you in unrelenting melancholy and sadness. The sound is quite clean, but it never feels plastic, as I’d describe it more as modern and forward thinking. Listening to the album, you wouldn’t think it would be made at any time other than the present, however the mood transcends dates and years. The lyrics are a bit on the obvious side, but in my mind that’s part of the charm. Fell the Misery is upfront about what it’s about and how it wants you to feel, and what’s amazing is that Bride managed to do this without alienating the listener. I feel like when an album is too upfront about its intentions it leaves all the mystery out of it. I like to make my own interpretations of music and how I want to feel about it, I don’t need the band to tell me what to feel. However hear I don’t think it matters. The intent of the music on this album is to have its content accessible, universally understood, yet lovable all the same, which is succeeded in scores. I feel like just about anyone could listen to this, no matter what their background, and instantly understand, yet nothing here feels dumbed down, rather to put it simply, this is all around good shit.

I feel like the death vocals are completely unnecessary and ruin the mood a bit however. I know that’s a part of My Dying Bride’s sound, but I’ve never been married to that aspect of the band. It’s not that vocals of intense pain can’t coincide with soft depressive music, but I don’t think the death vocals are utilized enough to be a constant force, and utilized just a bit too much to be a special treat. I feel like if Bride had been on the latter side, it would’ve made more of an impact on me, while still keeping part of their traditional sound.

Gothic metal is a hard act for me to be pleased by, but My Dying Bride, against my previous notions of what they were, managed to do just that. Feel the Misery really makes you quite literally FEEL the misery, pronouncing itself as one of the better doom metal albums this year, if at the cost of the listeners hearts sinking into their stomach a few dozen times.


8.25/10

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.


4/10

Paradise – Lost The Plague Within ALBUM REVIEW

This album has been something I’ve wanted to review for a long time, so I was pretty hyped when I finally got off my ass so I could uh… sit back down and listen to it. First thing I noticed was how immensely powerful the main riff of the opening track is. Probably the first riff I’ve heard this year that’s actually going to be stuck in my head for a while. This is the strong point of The Plague Within. It has a few select riffs in this album that have so much power and umf, along with being catchy, that you can’t get enough of them and they become earworms. Good earworms mind you. Victim of the Past, No Hope in Sight, and Return to the Sun (although not quite on the level as the other two) all have this kind of riff in them. The problem however, is that there’s a lot of time inbetween those riffs. And nothing in this album is really bad by any means, it just feels like it lacks the power of it’s riffs. While only those three tracks have main riffs of immense power, the other riffs in this album are by no means bad at all. But even though Paradise Lost fills up space with orchestral instruments, solid vocal work, and even blast beats at times, all of which sound good, it only ever reaches exactly; good. There is no wow factor, nothing to sweep me off my feat, no eargasm. Just pretty dang solid music. It’s like you have mild, medium, and hot salsa, and this is right under medium. It has just enough spice to be interesting, but not quite enough spice to make you satisfied. A major part of that is the store-bought chord progressions all throughout Plague, which to be fair is expected out of anything labeled “gothic”. To be clear, I certainly liked this, but I just don’t feel comfortable giving this the “recommended” label to an album I wouldn’t actually recommend to most people. The Plague Within is solid, but lacks the firepower to contend with the elite.


6.75/10

Angellore – La litanie des cendres ALBUM REVIEW

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Celine Dion made death doom metal? Wonder no more, for this album brings that experience and then adds as much vomit inducing sappiness as possible. I’m pretty sure the moment towards the end of the first track, in which the awfully executed death vocals try to be super emotional at the “climax” of the track is a contender for the worst moment in any album this year. It’s not even so bad that it’s funny, it’s just so disgusting you feel like gagging. That’s the worst part, I can’t actually even laugh at this, because it’s not bad because Angellore doesn’t know what they’re doing, it’s bad because they do know, and they decided to use that knowledge to make a metal infused 90s adult contemporary record. Pure and utter garbage.


0.75/10