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An Excellent Demonstration. - 91%

Velkaarn, June 8th, 2006

An eerie introduction consisting of feedback noises, some kind of otherwordly, distant voices and random sounds of guitars lead into the debut demo of the US death/doom band Loss (not to be confused with their metalcore countrymates!). As the first real song kicks in from the "Intromancy" there's hardly a chance one would consider the material to be metalcore. The guitars play a wailing dirge accompanied by solemn (and audible!) bass notes and the mid-tempoed drumming. This isn't as slow a funereal pace I first thought it might be, but definitely no means fast anyway. The vocal is a guttural, drawling and melancholic sounding death growl, and very good in my opinion.

The first proper track, "Conceptual Funeralism Unto The Final Act (Of Being)" ticks a respectable 7:54 minutes and builds a wonderfully depressive atmosphere while retaining a somewhat dynamic feeling. It invokes names like old My Dying Bride, old Katatonia, old Paradise Lost, first Theatre Of Tragedy (without the female vocals) and maybe Mourning Beloveth in my mind. A great song and despite the comparisons I just did it doens't really sound like a copy of anyone.

The last song titled charmingly "Cut Up, Depressed and Alone" starts at a little slower pace, sounding very melancholic, subdued and isolated. The initial guitar work reminds me actually of some of the depressive black metal and the bass lines are still clearly audible, serving the mood in suicidal glory. The guttural voice comes in just before two minutes into song breathing out the depressive lyrics. The song reaches a moment of calm at 3:10 as the percussion temporarily stops to leave only the guitar to play out melancholic notes. The percussion and the vocals join back in at four minutes as the song continues in the same, brittle mood to have all collapse back into heaviness at five minutes. A brilliant riff leads the song back onto its grim trek. Double vocals are sparingly (twice) utilized for a good effect at this part. A greater yet song, though the part from 6:55 to 8:58 could have been shortened a little.

The demo sounds like a demo, but everything can be heard very clearly and the production only adds to the atmosphere in my mind. Much of the metal these days is overproduced, killing much of the feeling in the music. The demo has been released as a MCD with 2 additional songs and as this demo left me craving for more at least I'm going to pick it up as soon as possible. I certainly hope to hear more from these guys and have high hopes for the upcoming releases.