Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Bland and pointless - 17%

Noktorn, October 30th, 2009

Example number one of how the doom scene will tolerate anything, no matter how bland it is: Loss. I'm trying to imagine the sort of world where this is somehow considered remarkable music, an I'm absolutely failing. Loss is a phenomenal example of how overly permissive the metal scene has become regarding doom, allowing even the most mediocre artists to not just slide, but enjoy an incredible amount of praise at the hands of people who either don't know any better or don't care enough to discern between bands like this one and actually decent artists.

Loss plays a particularly droning and bland style of doom/death which falls somewhere between My Dying Bride and Winter and manages to interest fans of neither of those artists. In pursuit of a mood that's both misanthropic like the more extreme death/doom artists and romantic like the more popular ones, Loss had crafted something remarkable only in its utter unremarkability, and unique in how dumb the whole idea of it is. Even for doom this is painfully still music; everything moves at an achingly slow pace (though not really tempo), with tiny motions in guitars intended to communicate vast emotional changes but just make one impatient and wondering where all the music has gone. The music is sparse and seems to be carrying itself more like funeral doom than death/doom, but sparseness alone doesn't equal artistry; the few things that happen to exist need to be pretty fucking impressive on their own for the whole thing to work out.

All the riffs are bland derivations of funeral doom leads (aka pick notes slowly) or some shuffling, uninteresting chord work which does nothing to propel the music forward. The drummer seems to be aching for the music to do more; when things are even slightly more active, he's all over the place, trying to give the music some of the richness that the guitars refuse to grant, but this just ends up making the music paradoxically cluttered where it should be minimal and minimal where it should be, if not cluttered, at least a little more active. The vocals are a low, funereal growl ala Skepticism, but they're tonally static and don't really contribute anything to the songs themselves.

For some reason impossible for me to discern, Deathgasm Records decided to re-release this on pro CD with a pair of bonus live tracks: a cover of Katatonia's 'Brave' sung by black metal fatty of the century Lord Imperial of Krieg, and a live version of 'The Barebacked Burial Of A Broken Angel'. The former isn't exactly spectacular; already a cloying rock track masquerading as extreme metal, it's made worse through a very choppy guitar performance that drops notes like breadcrumbs for the listener to follow. The latter track seems to be a full-fledged attempt at death metal which manages to be as still and boring as the doom songs. As you can expect, these bonus tracks make this precisely zero percent more worth owning.

I actually find this vaguely offensive simply due to how overwhelmingly lazy this music manages to be; I can't fathom why people find this stuff interesting or even how the band released this thinking that people would be interested. Maybe I'm completely out of the loop and failing to see the natural appeal of this music, but overall I can't see 'Life Without Hope...Death Without Reason' as anything more than an absolute exercise in tedium and poor songwriting. You can very easily skip this.