Saturday, March 15, 2014

the legion of boom, doom and gloom: Descend into Despair (Romania)

the legion of boom, doom and gloom: Descend into Despair (Romania)
Descend into Despair (Romania)
After hearing the music, it’s clear why Descend into Despair is one to watch in the doom genre, particularly after the new album “The Bearer of All Storms.” Perhaps it might help to see the following information in this format about “The Bearer of All Storms”:
1.Portrait of Rust (10:09)
2.Mirrors of Flesh (8:28)
3.Pendulum of Doubt (10:44)
4.Triangle of Lies (16:35)
1.The Horrific Pale Awakening (17:54)
2.Plânge glia de dorul meu (17:44)
3.Embrace of Earth (10:28)
The total time is more than 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Opener “Portrait of Rust” projects a grey forlorn musical landscape of plodding guitar, depressive keyboards, decidedly unhappy melodies and an amicable, cave-monster growling at a slow pace. After that song, the listener will not expect anything merry to show up. The slow-motion depression is well on its way as the second song begins and you’ll be forgiven for not noticing that it is a different song, given that the album flows so well, taking depression to lower lows and melancholic valleys of no sunshine.
The mood that you are in will likely affect the reception to this giant of a doom/death doom/funeral doom album. Or, maybe the album will change your mood. No matter, the only real requirement, I would say, is an affinity for very slow, melancholic doom. I, for one, had no idea what awaited going into this. Once the music began, I did not have any intentions of sticking around for an hour and half listening to one album. I thought that I would check out a song or two, but that’s not what happened. I ended up staying for the complete album. That’s why it’s best to let it play and see where the spectrum of miserable moods goes.
“Pendulum of Doubt” has some melodic singing, but how depressive that sounds, too. It almost sounds like it’s a man crying; not quite, but you get the idea. “Triangle of Lies” runs more than 16 minutes, yet it works dense melodies that somehow make one forget that it’s the same song, it’s another long passage of low-key melodies and heaviness.
This tunnel of no light only gets more oppressive and claustrophobic once we enter each of the two almost-18-minute tracks. Monsters and ghosts growl and chant at the listener passing by in the night. With that, we reach the end, the last song is “only” more than 10 minutes; and so it is: 10 minutes of sad bells, more ghostly weirdness. This track, in all seriousness now, could work at a funeral.
By the way, the band has other, earlier recordings available for free at Bandcamp. For instance, “Wings of Solitude” (23:10) is a demo from 2010, “Vanity Devotion” (30:31) is an EP from 2011 and “Hierophant of the Night” (12:36) is a single from 2012. Personally, I like these older recordings and have been listening to them recently when I stumbled upon them. The demo from 2010 gives a good idea of the aesthetics at work with Descend into Despair, but the new album is miles ahead, of course, in terms of songwriting, experience, skills and sound quality. Therefore, these recordings are a good preview of the band’s potential, while the album is the manifestation of the potential carried out to its logical conclusion.
The album certainly becomes more comprehensible with each new listen, and it’s highly recommended to the listener seriously into doom/death doom/funeral doom. With so much to absorb, that it will take the rest of 2014 to make sense. In a way, I hope that the band does not have a new album out in 2015 because I will need some time just to uncover what’s going on and to recover from the totality on display.

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