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This is a pretty interesting item. Mostly instrumental doom metal with death metal bits 'n' bites, from Russia. For those not in the know, Russia's got a good amount of solid doom bands, past and present. This release is a pretty good taste of Russian doom, for the most part anyway. Really meaty sound. So, as I like to say - let's sink some teeth in.
This album's got a seriously chunky sound; rugged distortion on the guitar and a lot of audible bass-work to fill up the low-end. The band's sound is rooted in a pretty simple formula. If you've read my reviews you know I believe that simple formulas are often the best. Quite simply, this band uses sparse drumming under a down-tuned bass and melodic guitar lines. This is all played at the typical tempos you'll find in any doom record. Vocals are used, but only on track 2 and 6. Low gutturals, mostly indecipherable. Sounds very much like the vocals you'd hear in an early '90s death/doom band. These guys are clearly fans of early Katatonia and Anathema, basically. In fact, they cover the latter as a closer.
Songwriting is solid, no doubt. It's a little odd hearing this style with such sparse vocals, though. "Dirge" really benefits from the harsh vocals, they fit in well and the vocalist is simply good at it... it's kind of a shame he only pipes up on two songs. With that said, possibly the best song is one of the instrumental tracks,"Listopad". I've been listening to this album for years and I've still not heard an instrumental quite like it. It doesn't really deviate from their formula or anything... it's just a well-crafted song that rises and falls in just the right ways. Bass skills are shown off, very melodic lead guitar, very dark atmosphere. Drums use lots of neat little rolls. It just works. On the other hand, the title track is a little over-long, especially for an instrumental. It has a funeral doom-ish sound and starts out promising enough, but doesn't really pan out. The Anathema cover medley is also rather by-the-book and nothing to get excited about. Thing is, those two weaker tracks I just mentioned are the last two tracks on he album. So they kinda fouled up the idea of "start strong, end strong".
If you like instrumental doom, there are 3 solid instrumentals and the excellent "Listopad" to be found here. Oldschool death-doom fans should recognize the Anathema cover and will probably find "Dirge" a satisfying track. The weaker moments are mostly outweighed, so I'll definitely recommend this one to the doomsters. Break out the vodka, folks.
What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear Russia?
Vodka? Admit it's Vodka.
Well from now on it shall be Crepuscularia.
Crepuscularia is an exellent example of how doom metal should sound.
This band plays a very raw kind of doom metal with one of the most intense growls I heard in a long time. I hear some funeral elements, infact it's a very good mixture of funeral and death/doom. While the bass creates the overall heaviness, the guitar and the drums fill-in and somewhat create the utterly crushing and depressing, yet beautiful atmosphere. The vocals are very good placed and they grab you, they grab you in the deepest corner of your soul and haunt you while it gives you the creeps and runs down your back.
This album is a very promising first step, let's hope they continue this way.