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Competent/decent doom ruined by vocals - 45%

caspian, September 24th, 2010

"When sorrow embraces my heart it dies alone
True love never dies
Love is suicide"

These three lines (which would be hilarious regardless of the delivery) are respectively whispered, croaked out (in that terrible "dude trying to sound as low as possible" tone) in an hilarious european accent of some sort, and then whispered again. It'd be fair to say that these few lines are pretty representative of the vocal quality throughout the whole album. Desire are certainly keen on testing everyone who says "vocals don't matter much", that's for sure.

Yeah, the vocals fall way over into the "comedy gold" area (the growled vocals being a lot like someone who's never heard death metal doing an impersonation) but it's unfair to write this off- or at least, completely write it off- because there's a bit/a lot of cheese in the vocal area. It's surprising considering just how big the gap between vocals and the rest of the stuff here is; the vocals scream "angsty teen in a bedroom", the rest tells of a fairly competent doom band who could use some better recording gear.

Candlemass, perhaps some funeral doom of the crappy solitude style (although this is better than most on said label), some english death/doom and a lot of subtle and surprisingly classy orchestral touches- a bit of piano rising above the mire here and there, bit of strings that bubble up here and there- y'know, it's actually pretty good. But then the vocals come back in... the hell, Desire? How on earth are these vocals an improvement? You've clearly got something going on here- that lead halfway through the first track is great, the riff near the end rather crushing... The first track in general is fantastic, except for moments like this (whispered in an awkward mediteranean accent) :

"Dance with me
Dance with me
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh (x4)"

I get the feeling that these dudes (could just be one dude?) don't have a very good grasp of english; it's the best excuse I have for them. It takes a pretty brilliant lyricist to pull off "whining about not getting any vag", and if you barely know the language then you're off to a bad start. This'd be way better if the band just sung in their native language, and for that matter stopped the whispering. It never sounds good, guys! Never! There is not a single band that has ever pulled it off.

It's just so frustrating! The trilogy on here features some of the best funeral doom type stuff I've heard for a long time- interesting, subtle keyboard/synth touches, a bunch of different riffs, a bit of Candlemass in the background of the funeral-ing to keep it somewhat different- but the vocals take it away from being awesome and just lend the whole thing a rather comical, kooky air; I doubt that's what the band was going for. An album full of decent to very good ideas ruined by hilariously bad vocals.