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Death doom monster - 85%

dismember_marcin, August 12th, 2019

An hour long album could be a challenging affair, especially if we deal with doom or death / doom metal band. Luckily, it's not a case here, also because this "Death / doom" tag is quite misleading. And also because Epitaphe from France delivers five intriguing and impressive songs, which I enjoyed a lot. I had no big expectations for "I", to be honest, I didn't think it's gonna be as good as it actually is... but the bigger surprise and pleasure is from listening to this CD.

Epitaphe did a lot to make the journey they take us into interesting. And diversity is one of the key factors here. At first sounds of the opening song, which is a 19 minutes long monolith titled "Smouldering Darkness", I thought that it's gonna be all pretty dull. The way this song begins is quite inconspicuous, with the doomy, sorrowful melodic piece, but rather boring. But suddenly this song takes 180 degrees turn and Epitaphe plays some fantastic bestial death metal riffs and fastens things up into real death metal savagery!!! And if they slow down again, the music remains cavernous, heavy with that obscure, eerie atmosphere, which is something I absolutely love to hear. And that's exactly what I meant about the diversity of "I". Epitaphe is not afraid to bring us some calmer, melancholic stuff, even experiment a bit, but majority of this album is just neckbreaking, vicious death or death / doom metal, which I personally think fits some of these XXI century obscure beasts such as The Ruins Of Beverast, Portal, Embrace of Thorns, Antediluvian, Abyssal, Temple Nightside to name just few. But do not forget also about the old monsters such as Incantation, Esoteric... And it's fantastic, because I didn't think Epitaphe will sound like that and also because they're fuckin good at it!

And next songs like "Downward Stream" and "Embers" continue with this style, which is all I could want now. Great thing about "I" is that these songs are very far from being typical and foreseeable. Riffs are not simplistic, even if the nature of this style of music can be felt like it's primitive and vile. They often bring a bit weird harmony or slightly progressive chords, like in that fantastic ferocious opening riff in "Downward Stream", which simply rips the fuckin head. These songs are 10 or even 20 minutes long, so it's obvious that Epitaphe had to use this time effectively and make sure that the listener does not jump off the window bored to death. So, you'll be hit with doomy passages, massive heavy riffs, blasting crushing parts, bestial, deep growls... And somewhere in the middle, there's an acoustic piece, which frankly feels to be completely misplaced haha. Just kidding.

Anyway, I think that "I" from Epitaphe is a bloody good album, it exceeded all my expectations, I can honestly say that I became a fan of this band... and what else can I add... I can only recommend it strongly, because it's an album you cannot miss. Good work, guys.

Standout track: "Downward Stream"
Verdict: 85/100