Rating:
7.7
In Loving Memory - Negation Of Life
2011


01. Even A God Can Die
02. Skilled Nihilism
03. Adversus Pugna Tenebras
04. Negation Of Life
05. November Cries
06. Shimmering Divinity
07. Through A Raindrop
08. Celestial
09. Nulla Religio, Solum Veritas


In Loving Memory are a melodic death doom band from Spain and 2011's Negation Of Life is the follow-up to their 2008 debut, Tragedy & Moon.

Their approach to doom is different than a lot of the more "extreme" stuff I've reviewed … rather than sitting on a riff for five minutes, and playing so slow it sounds like 15, they pick up the tempo to the point where the music is starting to migrate to other territory… although I'm not entirely sure where to put their flag on the metal map.

They also have a knack for switching up riffs with regularity, so every couple minutes something new is going on. Sometimes a nice melodic lead, at other times a staccato chunky chug riff, and there are a few headbangers are in there as well. They also pop in a few alternating leads to show off their chops.

In addition to varying tempos, incorporating the occasional clean guitar alongside distorted, blah blah, they also toss a few more instruments and effects into the mix, albeit rather sparingly. A piano surfaces from time to time to hammer some melodies on the low keys to add gravitas to a section here, or tension to a section there. "Skilled Nihilism" starts with a quasi-alarm and some blaster noises that reminded me of that opening scene in Star Wars, where Vader and the Storm Troopers started gunning down rebels. Needless to say, I was not expecting that…

So musically they play double-time doom while mixing up riffs like a good thrash band would. Where does the death come in? The vocals, that's where. The primary mode of lyrical communication is one of those low-end growls that blow up speakers. While the music is uptempo and perhaps upbeat, the vocals manage to drag the whole thing down to a doomish-hell. In a good way, I suppose. Sinister whispers are also mixed in to decent effect.

If this review seems odd and perhaps clinical compared to my other doom reviews - you know, where I use 300 synonyms for woe or despair and rely on emotion to pass along my experience - it is because I found this album lacking in perhaps the emotional impact compared to others bands in the genre.

However what the band might lack in the "slit your wrists after listening" factor, they make up for in just keeping things interesting. I found it appealing on a completely different level. This might also be a place for those used to faster, more aggressive extreme forms of metal to dip their toes into the doom pool…

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 



Written on 10.02.2012 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››



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Merchant of Doom - 11.02.2012 at 11:03  
Good album... fairly straightforward death/doom, but diverse enough to keep you interested. My only complaint is the "patchiness" of the compositions, meaning that the quality can be uneven from track to track. But it's a minor complaint...
Milena - 11.02.2012 at 12:26  
Might I say, even though I grew out of "gothic" digital art a couple of years ago, and even though I was never into weeping statues to begin with, this cover is pulled off very tastefully and I really like it.
It's a very nice, descriptive review.
Enoch - 11.02.2012 at 22:39  
Good album!
Unhealer - 12.02.2012 at 18:45  
That cover gives me the creeps.

I will check these guys, I'm interested to see what Spain has to deliver in the doom territory besides of Helevorn.

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