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Pitch Bleak B-Sides - 90%

Alastair1184, August 23rd, 2014

  • Dolorian's Ekstasis is a bleak, blackened funeral doom song with tasteful touches of industrial noise which gives a coldness that I otherwise find lacking in hollow-sounding, "warm" (or full-range) tone which does mundane disservice to the plodding genre. This is a more concentrated, sustained effort at an aggressive 'though bleak track compared to the variety of styles Dolorian exhibited on their self-titled full-length from 2001.

  • Shining's Through Corridors of Oppression is the band's doomiest effort thus far (as of 2013) and includes an uncharacteristic keyboard voice that one rarely hears outside of Dimmu Borgir records in the (let's go with;) extreme metal genre. Here, though, it adds an air of beauty to what is to any ear a funeral march (Chopin's Marche funèbre to be precise). If not for Shining's strictness regarding the count and style of songs included on their full-length releases, I wager this could have been included on III - Angst - Självdestruktivitetens emissarie (2002) in place of Fields of Faceless as it straddles a blurred line between funeral/doom and black metal while the band has otherwise stuck to depressive black metal for the rest of their time destroying our lives since 1996.

    What we have here is a logical split release: Both artists have put forward material which is characteristic of each but, whether by coincidence or not, is stylistically the closest the two have come. These are not just unreleased tracks that artists with mutual respect for each other selected unused tracks from the cutting room floor. No, these complementary contributions could only have evolved out of an intricate understanding of the each other's "thing" a pairing so suitable that it's vaguely-reminiscent of the logicial and original Thorns vs Emperor split release.

    Further to that point, any fan. of either band, having this as an introduction to the other, will not be disappointed and will likely find themselves poring through the diverse history of releases of either artist,
  • Dolorian/Shining - Split - 70%

    ConorFynes, March 20th, 2012

    As a band that exercises a philosophy of hatred towards every living thing, you wouldn't think they have many friends. That hasn't stopped them from making a split EP however, here with the Finnish doom act Dolorian. Although many of Shining's earlier releases have passed me as being somewhat bland when compared to the hordes of other bands within depressive black metal, this split sees them stepping up to the plate. Each of the two bands delivers one song,and as short as this split is, each track is strong enough to warrant a solid recommendation for lovers of ambient black and doom metal.

    First is Dolorian's offering, a plodding doom mini-epic called 'Ekstasis'. It begins with a flood of clean guitars and a slow, intentioned pace. Eventually, Dolorian burst into a crushing display of ambient funeral doom, with vocals and instruments nearly garbled by the effects and atmosphere. To be honest, I had never heard of Dolorian's work before hearing this split, but I know I will have to listen to them in the future. Their music here is profound and full of rich, sad atmosphere. While not as impressive, Shining's 'Through Corridors Of Oppression' is a beautiful track that sounds a little more pleasant on the ears than what Shining typically produce. Like Dolorian, it has a doomy feel to it, but follows a more conventional structure. Kvarforth's vocals here are clear-sounding, filled with grief but never going over the top like he usually does.

    Dolorian's half is arguably better than Shining's track, although both are strong and memorable. I do not usually expect much from these one-off releases that bands churn out, but the Dolorian/Shining split proves to be one of the better ones I've come across.

    dolorian > shining - 68%

    Cheeses_Priced, October 7th, 2004

    In the past I’ve found myself liking Dolorian’s attitude more than their music, for the most part. Both of their albums seem to represent sort of a subversive take on the sound of bands like Katatonia (or perhaps what “suicidal black metal” would like given a better-developed aesthetic and less drama), the first being more psychotic and overtly scary-sounding and the second being quieter, subtler, more subdued, utilizing whispered vocals – it almost sounds like the work of a completely different band. Neither was too shabby (though I prefer the second), but I wished they’d back off of the rock influences in the riffing a bit and cut loose a little with more free-flowing melodies.

    Well, it appears they have, at least for one track. Their contribution to this split, a song called “Ekstasis”, is easily the best thing they’ve ever done, at least to my tastes, and possibly even more different from the styles of their first two albums as they were from one another. I think people will end up comparing this to the band Esoteric… it’s bottom-heavy, slow, ambient, psychedelic and laden with reverb, and the vocals are growled (I was surprised at that; it’s not a vocal style the band had used before). The apparent similarity could be mostly a coincidence – Dolorian’s distinctive feel is still lurking beneath the surface. Anyway, this has me anticipating this band’s next album with a great deal of optimism.

    As for the Shining side, I am less impressed. Weren’t these guys a black metal band at some point? Well, the vocals are a tad raspy, but otherwise, this is a fairly straightforward four-minute doom metal song, with monotonous rockish rhythm guitars and some overwrought and repetitive “depressing” keyboard melodies that very strongly remind me of why most doom metal is so aggravating to me. Aside from the melodies themselves, I’m not especially fond of the synth tones used – the lead keyboard part sounds like the high end of a cheap xylophone, the other is playing imitation “backing strings”. Pretty cheeseball to my ears, and not a terribly accurate approximation of actual emotion.