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Onward To The Recycle Bin! (Part XV) - 57%

OzzyApu, November 16th, 2009

Being my introduction to Godsend, I expected only the finest in death / doom brought together by the mastermind Dan Swanö. The cover art itself is incredibly eerie, menacing, and rather atmospheric; you could tell there was some serious shit inside to be discovered. I went in hoping for some death / doom - I ended up finding some stoner / traditional doom hybrid. What I find puzzling is how odd this band sounds – it’s alternative rock that sometimes kicks into traditional doom. The atmosphere is very stoner like – I should have known. The cover art – it’s so obvious now… the electric mist = Purple Haze!

The vibe is very laid-back, cool, and relaxing; it’s like smoking weed with your best friends on a Friday evening after school. Many times the band will churn out a deafening riff that surges with a grindy tone like electricity through the air, building up with this ominous, dark trend. For the most part, that’s not entirely the case with this album. What really kills any effort in becoming doom metal is the vocalist, hands down. I don’t know who this guy is or where he came from, but he should have been a guest vocalist on only a couple tracks; Swanö should have handled vocal duties. For one, this guy belongs in a completely different genre: his voice is frail, vibrant, very clean, and his accent makes him off-key sometimes. He’s more of a punk / alternative vocalist trying to be part of a doom metal band (if you hear them, it’s much easier to understand). He always has this twang in his voice that just sounds so backward country, even though the band hails from Norway. His vocals are pretty cheesy, and only on a few tracks does he really sound gloomy and somber (“In The Bitter Waters” and “Tranquillity”).

To be a straight-up asshole, we’re going to play Segregation:

The Doom Tracks
“Down Upon You,” “In The Bitter Waters,” “The Sun Will Shine Again,” “Under Silver Linings,” “Tranquillity,” and “Thoughts And Shadows.”

The Alternative / Rock / Other Tracks
“Nobody Home,” “Life Must Go On,” “Clarion Call,” “Voyage In Oblivion,” and “Lost.”

Not that I’m prejudice or hold a grudge against the other tracks, but this album has this sort of goal to not really want to be what it’s trying to be. Everything on here is enjoyable in some happy-go-lucky way – on that statement, this album looks like it’s one of the darkest, most brooding doom albums. Instead, it ends up being that stoner doom band who dances with chickens and plays the lute; Swanö’s keys don’t even play that big of a role. What’s hilarious is that the track that has his biggest contribution is actually the best track on the album – “Tranquility.” I see this song as a precursor to Swanö’s own track, “The Last Song,” off of Edge Of Sanity’s Infernal. What “Tranquillity” has going for it is the solemn key melody accompanied by the dreary acoustic wash-up that paints a dismal picture. It’s such a sad melody that has some bit of beauty in it, but it’s so poignant that it’ll make any lady cry and any man choke up inside, even if he doesn’t show it. It’s a touching track, and even Morten’s vocals shine well as his sincere voice speaks of the turmoil, building some sort of distress before the whole track collapses under the weight of the almighty doom riff – fantastic!

The album should have been more like that song! Although it has nearly 50 / 50 on the doom, it still is a rather boring labor that probably works wonders while you’re high but has very little weight otherwise. The tone of the guitars is grindy and rupturing and the bass is deafening right alongside the rhythm. The production wasn’t a problem at all for such an obscure album, but there isn’t much going for it. You’ll find typical doom elements like clean guitars and harmonious leads, but it’s still not much to lift this album off it’s feet – it’s all just, there…

Even drumming is sort of discouraged and like, “whatever.” During the heavier parts, the drums make it sound like time slows down and waves crash against the earth, but other times it’s just jovial rehearsal drumming that isn’t too impressive or noticeable. The kit doesn’t even have any problems with it in terms of drowned-out pieces, hollow snares, bee-like cymbals, or stale hitting; what a waste.

I dunno, this album had so many resources to utilize, but it just got high and fucked around too much. Give it a shot, as you may find something to hold on to, but I gave this album too many chances. Don’t be fooled by the supernatural cover art, as it’s not even close to sounding like that (aside from the purple). No more rehab; this time, it’s out for good.