Feb 27, 2011
Excruciation - [t]horns ...
The main source of atmosphere comes from the creepy, somewhat sinister guitar work and vocals plus a production job which kind of sounds like it was recorded under water. Vocals range from growls to spoken word parts with some of the vocals sounding like they are being sung in an underground tunnel. Some of it is classic, majestic death doom as in tracks like "December 12" and "Faith of the Discarded" which are two very atmospheric doom tracks that sound like they are straight out of the golden doom era of the early 90's. While the style is old, the band sounds fresh and somehow different from the norm in the death-doom scene today. "Dust (Prelude)" and the following emotional roller-coaster known as "Vultures" has a certain mysticism about it. The other album highlight is "And The Dead Start To Breathe Again" which is the albums closing piece and the guitar sound on this tune is a bit thicker than what you hear on the rest of the album. Mostly the guitar sound is a bit high and thin for playing this kind of doom-death and that takes away some of the emotional power of the tracks. Also, sadly all these highlights occur in the second half of the album. The albums first half sounds a bit lack-luster compared to the albums very strong second half and it also lacks the variation that you will hear in the second half. With all due respect, the first 4-5 songs are still decent but are not very memorable.
Traditional doom fans will like some of the grooves and heavy chugging guitar work and there is also a bluesy element that shows itself in small doses especially in "December 12." The vocal work and the effects they use are very unique and atmospheric but the albums biggest flaw is in the production. However having said that, I know some people will say the production is great as a lot of folks go nuts for this kind of mix but I am not one of those people. For me the guitar sound needs a much needed boost and lacks a certain amount of dirt but I do like the atmosphere they got on the album. This swiss band delivers a good variant of doom, death metal and progressive metal with some good ideas and it is all played with a great deal of passion so it is hard to pick too many holes in it. Without a doubt an album worth checking out especially if you still dig the death, gothic doom sounds on the early 90's.......7/10