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A mix between melancholy and monotony - 30%

SupremeAbstract, May 9th, 2008

A few months ago I decided to leap headlong into the doom metal genre by purchasing this album along with Electric Wizard’s “Dopethrone” and Sunn’s “Black One.” This is, by far, the album that generates the least feeling’s within me, being good or bad. The atmosphere it tries to create is lost on me half of the time, while the rest of the time it totally captures my attention with it’s hypnotic, droning, melancholy soundscapes.

What defines this album the most are the high pitched keyboards that define the tempo and key of each song. Sometimes they seem like they are the exact same tempo and key from song to song, other times they feel completely different. For example, the keys that fill the ending passage of “Your Path to Divinity” sounds almost exactly the same as the keys that mark the entire song of “Sun Day.” Yet in each song, they have completely different effects on me. “Your path…’s” sound forced and make me cringe, while “Sun Day‘s”’ make the song so melancholy, it sounds like the music itself is longing for but a single glimpse of the sun.

The rest of the instrumentation on this album is fairly unremarkable, but it all fits quite well for the drone genre. Low tuned, heavily distorted bass and guitar, played at a fairly slow (60-80 bpm) pace in a repetitive fashion. Nothing special, but they get the job done. The drums and bass are mixed and mastered rather well, as on a loud sound system they have quite a kick, although it does tend to drown out the guitars for the most part.

As for Justin’s voice, I have mostly only negative comments. He sings off key sometimes (which is fairly hard to do in drone doom), his “angry” vocals sound weak. I mean, come on, you are trying to sound pissed off, but you only come across as slightly moody. His voice rarely changes from song to song, the only exception being “Man/Woman.”

I guess I’m not that big of a fan of industrial droning shoegaze post rock-ish ambient doom metal. Or maybe this album is just weak. Still, there are some enjoyable parts. Maybe it will make a good movie soundtrack one day….or maybe it will be confined to it’s mediocre niche genre.