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"Welcome to the realm of rivalry. Where being became estranged from the ravenous time"
The third album from one of Finland's hidden jewel is a true testament to despair. Hannu Weckman (drums, some guitars) died during the recording of the album which took a long 3 years to achieve. His memory will live on through the songs and his doom will be yours to hear. Fall of the Idols plays a traditional kind of doom metal but with a very weird approach, it's truly unique without losing any references to the style's background. It's strange, while it tries to disregard the conventions, you can always find them, buried under the talented songwriting. Solemn Verses is deep and profound, prepare to kneel in an ocean of sorrow.
Solemn Verses is an ambitious album, it's very effusive, it's almost too emotional. It's poetic verses intertwined with mournful melodies. As innovative as Cathedral and as deep as Albert Witchfinder's darkest memories, The vocal approach is quite enjoyable, Jyrki Hakomäki's delivery is perfect, sometimes he sounds like a charismatic front man à la Jim Morrison but way more drunk and depressed. But at the same time, he's charming and romantic. His cleaner vocals are bewitching, an ideal companion to the crushing atmospheric riffs and he's also pretty great when he's handling the rougher and crazier vocals found on the heavier moments. His range is great and it shines on the fourth track called "Hymn". While the band is quite varied, it doesn't have annoying distinct sections, it's a well conceived melting pot and everything is tasty. If Patrick Walker (40 Watt Sun and Warning) would stop crying, he could probably release something as profound and gushing as this album. I think that's the third time I trash Walker, I should simply write a review and try to get over it !
The funeral doom aura of Finland has an influence in their sound. Some parts on the longest track of the album "Cycle of the Fallen" have clear mournful elements and a valid proof that doom doesn't need harsh vocals to be darker than the darkest black. While they don't use keys like Skepticism or Shape of Despair, their three guitars attack is very particular and gives the band a rich and full sound compared to the traditional one guitar identity. Don't be fooled, we're still in trad doom territory but there's an unquestionable will to transcend the classifications. The songs are all above 8 minutes but the album stays interesting throughout its duration, there's even some acoustic guitar on the third track and it fits the overall vibe of their music.
This album grows on you, there's so many details to find each time you hear it. It lacks nothing. Good warm production ? Yep. Great riffs & interesting leads ? Yep. Awesome abstract and poetic lyrics ? Yep. One of the best record of the year ? Yes, definitely.
It's an album where you contemplate the cold murky waters. You're tempted to jump, but you decide to stay alive, comfortable in your fur coat coated with the blood of deers.