US/Portuguese Electronic doom duo release their first full-length album
Now, this one came in to us labelled as Black/Doom Metal. For a start, let us take the words “metal”, and “black” out of the equation. The lush yet dark synthesizer intro gives no real hint of the melancholic doom we are soon to hear.
“Your Lonely Death My Crown” is dripping with gothic misery and the title kind of gives it away. Just above funeral doom pace, you find yourself being smothered by musical shadows, that are getting blacker with each minute. This is the sound of sadness…
Sounding slightly more upbeat despite the name, “Fear In Bloom” is where we first hear a guitar. Albeit one picking out a very gothic melody in the vein of Fields of The Nephilim, or Sisters of Mercy. The drums are upped in tempo at the start before the feeling of utter despair hits with the vocals and slows down again. The vocals are sung in a very low register throughout. Like a desperately unhappy Pete Steele.
Two tracks in, and I am totally hooked…
Not many bands can create such a compelling song, let alone album of this kind of stuff – Joy Division and The Cure would be a good comparison, as would Belarussian band Molchat Doma. Yet even they don’t hit the emotions like this does. The paradox here especially whilst listening to third track “Watching You Beg For Your Life“, is that I’ve got a big smile on my face, rather than crying my eyes out.
How about some “Ancient Pain“? One of three tracks on the album that are over the 6-minute mark, it brings to mind for me the Cure tracks “The Funeral Party”, and “All Cats Are Grey”. It’s a very cold track – one that reflects the cover art well.
Starting with a sound akin to Peturbator, fifth track “Deep Depression” is definitely well titled. If you thought the vocals were depressing earlier, this one ups (or should that be downs?) the ante big-time. Any attempts at further comparisons to the aforementioned synthwave act will be destroyed as soon as the vocal kicks in on this one..
On the other side of a mountain of misery
Yes, you have now reached the apex, and are coming down the other side now. Another misleading intro that suggest a possibly happier tone on “A Wretch And a Liar” makes you realise that this is only dropping your into an unseen chasm of bottomless despair. The melody on this is strangely warming though, at odds to the singing and lyrics.
The next track’s title was not at all a red herring. “I Know It Hurts You” is dripping with melancholic hatred. If you’re a sick gothic puppy like me, then you will really like this one. The synth strings add to the mournful atmosphere that this album is based in. This one also heavies up towards the end too. You’ll have to buy and listen to this to appreciate it though!
The guitar is back..
Yes, the penultimate track “There By The Window” has the old-school gothic vibe back again thanks to the 6 strings. The vocals are also a bit more varied on this one too, which adds a good bit to the song. And this makes this track just ever so slightly more upbeat than the rest.
Finally, we reach the ninth barrier of darkness for just over 6 minutes of “Wasting Away Forever“. And yes, their is nothing on the other side other than an amorphous and emotionless void. Again some variation on the vocals here, but to more of a low growl, as opposed to the higher tones on the preceding track. The guitar picks out a subtle melody throughout this as well, which helps create the haunting atmosphere of this final track.
Summing it all up..
I honestly was not expecting this. After the disappointment of the lacklustre Priest album I reviewed a few days back, this was the electronic album I needed. Though not a “Heavy” album in the traditional sense, the atmosphere throughout this makes it a heavy prospect. As I said earlier in the review, there are few bands, including most DSBM (Depressive Suicidal Black Metal) who can touch the truly miserable tone of The Cold That You Left.
This is not going to be for everyone, I shall make no illusions to say the opposite, but I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of its 48 minutes. This is misery done so well, that it makes me smile.
01 – Your Lonely Death My Crown
02 – Fear In Bloom
03 – Watching You Beg For Your Life
04 – Ancient Pain
05 – Deep Depression
06 – A Wretch and a Liar
07 – I Know It Hurts You
08 – There By The Window
09 – Wasting Away Forever
- $10 USD