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Unique, obscure death-doom EP - 87%

Exile Audio Labs, June 20th, 2015
Written based on this version: 1998, CD, SCM Records

The EP contains two songs, which are stylistically very different, yet seem to work together. Overall the material is very dynamic and emotional, and while it borders on technical in places, what really sets it apart is the way the 2 songs and their sections are juxtaposed.

The first song, Without Thine Will, is abrasive and borders on slow death metal. Some sections are in odd meters with down-picked full chords. The song is quite aggressive. The second song, Seasons of Desire is a 13 minute doom metal epic with some simple, but moody, harmonies strewn throughout. None of the individual parts are too complicated, but the structure and stylistic changes are certainly complicated. The song begins with a slow galloping riff, escalates into a speed picked riff, then descends into the mid-section which some might be tempted to compare to My Dying Bride or early Anathema, which extents up through an ambient section. The climax is split into two parts, a black metal-ish section and a very muscular, rhythmic riff with alternating thrash / death vocals.

While it was recorded on an analog 8 track, the sound quality is fairly clear so all of the instruments can be discerned easily and there is no audible noise to detract from the music. This is one of the most unique death doom releases I have heard, and while the slow sections might drag a bit, the progression of the songs overall works very well.