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Worth the wait... - 85%

metalbeast_42, April 4th, 2011

This ep is something that I have been awaiting for quite sometime, as it was preceded by almost 2 years of silence from one of my favorite (if not, absolute favorite) doom metal bands. Shape of Despair, to me, is a band that transcends the genres of doom, doom death, funeral doom, and atmospheric doom. They are incredibly accessible for a member of the funeral doom genre, yet that in no way sells them short, as they compose some of the most beautiful sonic tapestries of longing, remorse, and crushing depression.
If one is unfamiliar with this band, I could honestly see this ep as a good jumping off point, as it is not nearly as daunting as their other albums that clock in at over an hour, with songs that last anywhere from 6 to 20 minutes. This aspect also happens to be the ep's greatest weakness. It's so fucking short. I fully understand this is not a full length, but I would have even taken an instrumental filler to make this short auditory adventure last just a wee bit longer. The incredibly short length is the ONLY reason why I did not give this disc a 100.
BE THAT AS IT MAY...
The two songs that are represented on this vinyl are incredible. It truly emits the exact atmosphere we have come to expect from these Finnish doom titans. Dark, ethereal, and foreboding, "Written In My Scars" begs the listener to simply lay down, forgo the busy modern world that has enraptured them, and sink into a beautiful and chilling abyss of sadness and self loathing.
Both tracks are traditional Shape of Despair, with slow drumming, ambient keys, slow to midpaced riffing, and agonized guttural vocals that groan and monologue tales of utter hatred for existence. Specifically "The Bliss of Sudden Loss" I think should be considered one of the best songs this band has written to date. The lead riff that introduces, and bids farewell to this chunk of heavy doom is so beautiful and haunting. Whereas the first track is totally awesome, it would fit right in on "Illusion's Play" and I think it's very important that each Shape of Despair album have a distinct feeling to it. "The Bliss of Sudden Loss" achieves this distinct feeling, where I believe it stands apart from their discography.
Bottom line: Buy this as soon as you can, if you have any interest in the doom genre, or Shape of Despair. The short length is a downside, but the quality of what IS here is enough to overshadow it. This will destroy you for the short time it plays... and leave you wanting so much more.