Drown - Subaqueous review

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Band: Drown
Album: Subaqueous
Release date: February 2020

01. Drowned VI: Mother Cetacean
02. Drowned VII: Father Subaqueous

Slowly drown in some funeral doom from the guy behind Tchornobog. Now that's what I call immersive.

Tchornobog turned some heads towards Markov Soroka, the band's sole member. The Ukrainian musician has had his share of projects, some of them with other members as well, but another one man band of his was Slow. No, sorry, Slow (USA). It's not that hard to mistake one for the other, both being exceptionally great one-man funeral doom bands. So it was probably for the best that Markov decided to rename the project to avoid confusion, and the new name, Drown is actually infinitely more fitting for the claustrophobic aquatic doom, as well as the tracklist, which, as you may tell, continues the five "Drowned" tracks from Unsleep, Slow (USA)'s debut, recently also re-released under the Drown name.

This time the whole of the album in comprised of two tracks, each over twenty minutes in length. This doesn't really get to the lengths and ambitions of Tchornobog's debut, an album that this will inevitably be compared to, but Subaqueous does indeed deliver on its promise of aquatic doom, lands so far only inhabited by the aforementioned and by Ahab. Of course some of the feeling is helped by some effects, which I assume are """field""" recordings, but the music itself does well enough to give that feeling of drowning, of watery pressure, asphyxiation and slow submerging. There really isn't a lot of music that feels as aquatic (or is it?), so this niche is still perfectly filled by Drown. How it achieves this is tough to properly describe.

A lot of albums have suffocating production, but this strikes the perfect balance between muddy and suffocating, so that it feels both crushing but also like the sound has to travel through deep dark waters. And the music itself is crushing, don't get me wrong, but it is so strangely melodic and uplifting in a way that shouldn't work, but it does so well. The guitars are truly mesmerizing, and in combination to the wonderful violins they give the monolithic tracks a clear gothic touch, but one that doesn't put the music in danger of becoming cheesy in any way. Though the vocals don't really deviate too much from the monotonous harsh vocals, the production does make them feel inhuman, and the changes of pace and mood from crushing to mellow don't ever leave the album any chance to feel stagnate.

In the end, it actually feels a bit too short, but it's still such a unique listen, and one that showcases the improvements of Soroka's musicianship. It does make me miss a bit of Tchornobog's vibe, but I suppose the improvements in musicianship on this will make that album's follow-up something to get hyped about.


Written on 25.03.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 5   Visited by: 52 users
25.03.2020 - 20:47
Pretty much agree on all fronts. I think it's a small loss maybe that it's more buried now, I feel in the older material the melodies were carrying it just that slight bit more.
25.03.2020 - 20:53
Written by DeliciousDishes on 25.03.2020 at 20:47

Pretty much agree on all fronts. I think it's a small loss maybe that it's more buried now, I feel in the older material the melodies were carrying it just that slight bit more.

If any album benefits from a "buried" mix, it's this one
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.

2020 goodies
25.03.2020 - 21:49
Written by RaduP on 25.03.2020 at 20:53

If any album benefits from a "buried" mix, it's this one

Good point
25.03.2020 - 22:59
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
We all drown in deep Sorrow of melsnholic funeral doom
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
26.03.2020 - 05:35
Lord Slothrop
I've enjoyed everything I've heard from Soroka so far. Tchornobog was the first and probably my favorite, but this one has been growing on me the more I listen to it. I'd also argue that the shorter length augments its greatness as I feel it never wears out its welcome. It's the only funeral doom album I can always listen through from start to finish. Yeah, I'm talking to you Esoteric.

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