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Rating:
8.0
Descend Into Despair - The Bearer Of All Storms
28 January 2014


01. Portrait Of Rust
02. Mirrors Of Flesh
03. Pendulum Of Doubt
04. Triangle Of Lies
05. The Horrific Pale Awakening
06. Plânge Glia De Dorul Meu
07. The Embrace Of Earth


Funeral doom can tend to feel like melodic death metal in the sense that the style often seems to get redundant, composed mostly of a sea of stale fish with a few shining gems lurking deep within its waters. Thankfully, Romania's Descend Into Despair are one such gem, stepping outside some of the typical tendencies of their style with The Bearer Of All Storms, and offering us one of the first great debuts of 2014.

The distinction that sets Descend Into Despair apart from many of their contemporaries is the fact that their music is not entirely monotonous, and actually contains a powerful sense of melody that may strike some listeners as a bit strange for funeral doom. The Bearer Of All Storms doesn't feel as much like a journey through light-deprived cemeteries (a la Evoken, Tyranny) as it feels like the tale of a dying old man, lamenting the fact that he has to leave, but also celebrating all the good memories he had while alive. Tracks like "The Horrific Pale Awakening" and "Embrace Of Earth," especially, contain a warm, epic layer of choir-like effects that help to bring about a gothic, almost spiritually cleansing mood. The music is indeed still sorrowful, but more in the sense of "I'm passing on, goodbye everyone, I love you" than in the typically ominous and foreboding mood that many funeral doom bands employ.

Then again, Descend Into Despair are a funeral doom band, and their debut, while slightly differing from the rest of the pack, does definitely stick to convention in more ways than not. The riffs do have an overall sense of gloom and melancholy, and the atmosphere of the album seems to borrow heavily from early Skepticism, who always did have a bit of an orchestral tinge to their music's ambience. Meanwhile, Denis Ungerean's growls are familiar as the style's vocals ever get, and destroy hopes and dreams in the way that extreme doom fans all know and love.

Descend Into Despair are, in short, a pretty good example of a band that know how to stick to the core of the style from which they come, while also having enough of a personality to give them a little sense of distinction as well. The ambient elements and occasional clean vocals on The Bearer Of All Storms give it a more dynamic, emotional edge, while the typical funeral doom ingredients help to make it not too far out there and unfamiliar, and it's this blend that ultimately makes it a pretty decent release. These guys and Altar Of Betelgeuze have probably put forth my favorite debuts of the year thus far. Are you down for some good ol' melodic melancholy? Then get some good heaphones and begin the descent!

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 17.02.2014 by
Apothecary
"I don't know how y'all see it, but when it comes to the children, Wu Tang is for the children, we teach the children"
-ODB
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LascaillesShroud - 17.02.2014 at 03:02  
This review has peaked my interests.
Apothecary - 17.02.2014 at 03:15  
Written by LascaillesShroud on 17.02.2014 at 03:02

This review has peaked my interests.

Nice to hear that from a guy who makes some pretty solid music himself
LascaillesShroud - 17.02.2014 at 03:26  
Written by Apothecary on 17.02.2014 at 03:15

Written by LascaillesShroud on 17.02.2014 at 03:02

This review has peaked my interests.

Nice to hear that from a guy who makes some pretty solid music himself


Hood's Gate - 17.02.2014 at 22:19  
These guys do throw in some great twists compared to most bands. The songs I have heard are pretty good. Thanks for the review.
BlueMobius - 18.02.2014 at 01:16  
Written by LascaillesShroud on 17.02.2014 at 03:02

This review has peaked my interests.


It's piqued not peaked. Sorry, the "grammar Nazi" in me came out when I saw that one.
R Lewis - 18.02.2014 at 22:52  
Written by BlueMobius on 18.02.2014 at 01:16

Written by LascaillesShroud on 17.02.2014 at 03:02

This review has peaked my interests.


It's piqued not peaked. Sorry, the "grammar Nazi" in me came out when I saw that one.

Or he did write peaked because he already had high interest in it, and the review raised it even more.
Erik M. - 18.02.2014 at 23:04  
Dude, you're on a roll with writing reviews it seems.

Will definitely be checking this one out. Also, have you checked their Facebook page? I just noticed they're very happy with this review seeing as they said: "Check out our amazing new review. Thank you, Metal Storm!"
Apothecary - 18.02.2014 at 23:25  
Written by Erik M. on 18.02.2014 at 23:04

Dude, you're on a roll with writing reviews it seems.

Will definitely be checking this one out. Also, have you checked their Facebook page? I just noticed they're very happy with this review seeing as they said: "Check out our amazing new review. Thank you, Metal Storm!"

I guess you could say that. I'm not gonna give out too much personal info, but one of our EICs got on me towards the end of last year about my decline in writing, so I've been trying to step it up a bit and occasionally review some bands that are a bit outside of my listening preferences (hence the Obliteration and Graveborne reviews haha).

That's definitely awesome that they've put up the review on their page, I always get a special pride boost when I see bands thank me like that, even if it's indirectly. The all time biggest one though had to be last year when Blake Judd (who one of the Staffers directed to me) thanked me personally over Facebook for my Hate Meditation review.

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