Jul 8, 2012
The Slow Death - II ...
The music on 'II' is slow, mournful, depressive, atmospheric and very aggressive despite the slow, agony filled tempos. It takes a lot to depress me these days with doom metal, after all with decades of listening to doom metal on a daily basis, I have become immune to the depressive qualities of doom metal bands but I have to say this album gets me on the breaking point every time. This is a very bleak, depressive album that paints a picture of sheer ugliness. This is a concept album which tells the story of the very last surviving humans alive on Earth, forced to die of exhaustion and hunger as they search for shelter in the desert. The lyrics and artwork have been created by vocalist, Mandy Andresen and this is indeed an album where you can just get a lot of enjoyment out of the lyrics alone. However, like I hinted at earlier, take the great vocals and lyrical concepts out of it and you left with a stock death doom album that is neither very good or bad, it is just stock, predictable, generic but still very listenable.
The main difference between this and the bands début is this is less melodic overall and leans more heavily in a funeral doom direction. That is not to say this album is devoid of great chugging riffs or melody because it still has that but this is a far more atmospheric bleak collection of songs compared to their début album. The bulk of the album is of course painfully slow but they do pick up the pace here and there and that keeps this album flowing and stops it from becoming too bogged down in the one direction. The guitar work is great and has more than enough variation to keep the attention level up and it needs to be. This album has only 5 songs ranging from 10 to 24 minutes each and it is almost all as depressing as hell itself. The opening 24 minutes of 'The Long March' is the make or break point in the album even though it is the first track.........get through this track and the rest of the album will be a breeze to sit through. The album offers no real surprises apart from the stunning female vocals and if you grew up listening to the Peaceville Three, you will feel like you have heard this before, somewhere, sometime. The band displays their influences loudly and proudly which is fine but this sounds like an album that should have come out 15 years ago. If that was the case, this could be regarded as a ground-breaking album by now.
Fans of My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Funeral, Lethian Dreams, Paradigma, Doom:VS, Unholy, Skepticism, Thergothon, Evoken, Morgion, Shape of Despair, Black Wreath, Murkrat, Mournful Congregation and Anathema will eat this one up but even those people may find this a little recycled and predictable to sit through for all of its 67 minutes. Stack this up against its peers as in most of the bands I just mentioned and it still stands out as a strong release but given the amount of albums available that sound just like this, it is likely to get lost in the heap. I can still recommend the album for what it is, a damn fine solid death-doom album with great vocals but it is also forgettable in the long-run...7/10.
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