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Ethereal melodic doom - 85%

Andromeda_Unchained, November 16th, 2013

I’m not going to claim to be any sort of authority on doom metal, whilst I have an appreciation for the style, it isn’t one I have a lot of time for outside of writing (oh what can change in two years ed-2015). However, if there’s one particular sub-style of the doom genre that I do have a decent grasp on, it’s the melodic, epic brand that bands such as Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus and Solstice do so well. Luckily for me, Chile’s Procession deliver such an approach on their sophomore full-length effort.

Expect grandiose songs, passionate vocals and punishing riffs here, as it would seem Procession know exactly what they’re doing, with a deft approach to crafting their chilling, poignant brand of doom metal. Felipe Plaza Kutzbach’s vocals are a particular strong point on the album, giving a Messiah Marcolin inspired performance, with soaring, haunting vocal lines, and an ace tone. On “Death & Judgement” there’s a drop in the music, and Felipe’s vocals carry the song for a short while, which comes off quite powerful, particularly when listened to on headphones – I had chills.

The rest of the band carve leviathan sculptures of trudging riffs, pummelling bass lines, and crashing drums. The use of cymbals on the album really gives the music an ominous, thunderstorm like feel, helping to evoke the imagery conveyed in the album title, artwork, and of course the lyrics throughout. The guitar riffs are perfect doom fare, with that classic Nightfall vibe going on in places, although never verging on plagiarism, and certainly coming across heavier which is in part thanks to lower guitar sound. Claudio Botarro Neira’s bass guitars are possibly the most important aspect of the Procession sound, with his performance driving each of the tracks. The bass lines are seriously fucking cool here.

Across the album the band delivers some really well-written doom, which can be seen in the likes of the aforementioned “Death & Judgement”, the killer title track and the towering “Far From Light”. As far as I’m concerned this is some first class stuff, as I’ve said the performances are killer, although just to reiterate on the guitars; be on the look out for some blinding solos throughout the album, these guys really bring the pain.

If you’re at all a fan of the style, particularly the melodic/epic branch, then you should probably drop what you’re doing and get this album. Procession have really sold me on their sound here, with passionate performances, killer songwriting and wonderful production values. To Reap Heavens Apart is well worth checking out, and one of the finest albums I’ve heard in the genre in 2013. Recommended!

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