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One of Doom's Crowning Achievements - 99%

Confessor, October 29th, 2009

Here we have it. Within these two tracks are my favourite pieces of doom ever laid down on tape, beating Trouble, Disembowelment, Confessor and countless more. In fact, without hyperbole this some of my favourite music period. Yes, on a demo. Morbid, suicidal, bleak, depressing - lets get all these adjectives out of the way so we can get onto the absolute perfection that is this release.

For a start, most people shy away from demos because of the production. This, is the least of your worries here as this "demo" has production which most 80s band would have loved. Not that it's an overproduced whore however, here everything sits at a nice level and the bass is quite audible which comes in handy when it is used for more melodious sections. Only two tracks you say? Skip past the forgettable but perfectly named "Coffin Nails (Intromancy)" and you'll see there's a good 17 minutes of pure doom on what should have been Loss's first EP (even more if you get the reissue).

The music here is often described as death/doom, but to me edges much closer to funeral doom. With the desolate nature of a band like Thergothon (minus the keyboards), Loss have added perfectly guttural vocals which are forced out slowly over the funereal guitar tones. Rather than sounding particularly malevolent or deranged, the vocals echo sorrow and depression - an otherworldly inward reflection of a vocalist examining the emptiness when you have been eaten by nihilism, left without hope. The drums are well played, and feel learned in the realms of doom. Reminding me of Burning Witch's minimalist approach to doom drumming, you'll hear no Disembowelment like blasting or even a bare rise in tempo. However have no worries if are bored by drone music. Loss not even close to a drone band - all slow sections found on this release (which would be the whole thing if you are paying attention) are truly funeral doom infused.

The highlight however is the genius way the riffs have been constructed. While so many boring sludge/doom and death/doom bands creep past with the same overdone Sabbath rehashes, Loss are an inherently neoclassical band. Built from contrapuntal guitar techniques and backed with a melodic bass mentality the minor elements of the music are elevated perfectly by the production. Everything crawls to a halt and sits around in the air, the reek of a morose fortitude not to die hanging in the air. Both tracks are perfectly weighted and retain the same qualities; "Conceptual Funeralism Unto The Final Act" builds the demo up to a mid point with more complex guitar interplay, and "Cut Up, Depressed And Alone" bringing it back down, smashing through the floor of depression to meet death. The second track in particular brings out Loss's clever ability to hide descending riffs in repetition, absolute grief resonating through each harmony. Take not, this band is aptly named.

"All that's left is loneliness, there's nothing left to feel."