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Shape of Despair - Written in My Scars - 65%

ThrashManiacAYD, December 29th, 2010

This stop-gap two-song 7" EP from Finnish funereal doomsters Shape of Despair here serves as an awakening of the cult act who released their third and last album in 2004. Now, don't get me wrong as I absolutely love my doom and am favourable to my fair share of death/doom and funeral doom (for whatever the difference might be), but that more extreme end of the doom tree takes a lot to get me frothing at the mouth in excitement and as I'm not privy to the joys (or despair?) of SoD's previous albums but come armed with the knowledge that Ahab have significantly raised the bar in this world with their two monolithic masterpieces, "Written In My Scars" feels distinctly more average.

Neither track lacks the emotional heart-wrenching feel that defines this genre, with the prerequisite plodding speed at the forefront of the band's heavily atmospheric sound. The title-track which opens takes some time to emerge from the shadows and ends up sounding simply 100% wintery Finnish doom - think Skepticism, or Thergothon, but with better production, a sound as 'love it or hate it' as can be imagined in all of music. "The Bliss Of Sudden Loss" is that bit more dynamic and consequently the better of the two through daring to deviate from the static procession while the conjuration of the song's misery is more the work of guitars than keys, a plus in my book where 'atmospheric' synth can at times be too easy to create for bands of any nature. Had this prolonged into a full-length the boredom factor could have settled in but at 12 minutes "Written In My Scars" at least does not overstay it's welcome and is a nice solid display of portentous deathly doom, if not much else.

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