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Two young bands from Syria - 57%

oneyoudontknow, April 14th, 2011

This is a split between two bands from Syria. For both of them this would be their first release.

Despair

Give them some real drums…
55

Despair opens this split album and they play some sort of depressive/atmospheric black metal with ambient interludes. The music is generally dark and a too large focus on too few elements. Let me explain this: in the first part of the track the vocals drown everything, in the succeeding interlude the acoustic-like guitars are put in the front, after this a repetition of the first approach appears, while at the end a sweet combination of whispering vocals and a ‘moaning’ guitar work as a nice duet; the track closes with a recitation of the second motive. It would be fair to state that this composition consist of four segments, whose quality differs significantly.

The music is not bad; it is simply a bit too overloaded at times. Those aspects described above do not work together in a nice and convincing way. You can listen to them, but the way they appear might feel random in some respect. Especially annoying are the vocals, due to their croaking style and too dominant mix. On the other hand, the whispering one add a nice facet to the style and this part feels somewhat natural, because it would be there that instruments and vocals work together. Even though Immortality of Shadows is over seven minutes in length, it passes by in no time and leaves little behind.


Eulen

Not bad actually … just a bit overdone
60

Eulen – German for ‘Owls’ – would be the second band of this split release and the whole concept is quite different. Keyboards play a much larger role here and the whole structure of the composition has a larger focus on the atmosphere than on the vocals for instance. These appear – with some verve – only at some rare occasions, while the most part of the composition is dominated by the instruments.

Doom with some small black metal elements can be found on this release. The emphasis is clearly on the former of these aspects and as such harshness and aggressiveness do not really appear here. Calm and dark melodies are presented by Eulen, which are accompanied by various electronic facets; keyboards and samples. Screams, speaking and some duet thing make up the performance of the vocalists but these create rather something like a small disruption of the ever monotonous flow of the music.

This might be the shortcoming of this release. While the music is atmospheric and in some respect also intense, the reduction to this one concept makes it all a bit hard to endure. Maybe a bit more variation in tempo would have been a nice thing indeed. There is a certain limit the band does not even dare to cross and as such everything drowns in this slow meandering of the riffs. So, while the overall structure and the arrangements are quite promising, the track nevertheless sounds overdone and too controlled.