Ashes You Leave - Desperate Existence review


13 users:
Band: Ashes You Leave
Album: Desperate Existence
Release date: June 1999

01. A Wish
02. Never Again Alone In The Dark
03. Desperate Existence
04. Et Vidi Solem Evanere
05. Momentary Eclipse Of Hope
06. Searching For Artificial Happiness
07. Shadow of Somebody Else's Being
08. Outro

"Desperate Existence" is the second release of the Croatian doom ensemble Ashes You Leave. Released in 1999, it's labeled as the darkest album of the group. This album is righteously called so: even the most depressive song of Varg Vikernes on a cold winter night may not have such effect as this piece here.

The album starts with a lovely introduction called "A Wish." One hears voices of nature, dreaming panpipe melodies and angelic female singing. The pattern of music resembles strongly the New Age band Enigma. The second track adds all the other paintbrush strokes to the music of the album. Extremely dark and depressive tones fall upon the Enigma-style meditation garden but manage not to suffocate the beautiful dreaming mood one heard in the overture.

The female singer and flutist Dunja Radetic delights the listener with her variable voice. At first she possesses a dark and low voice which is sad and serious. From time to time her voices becomes lighter and more high-pitched. There are moments when her singing becomes literally haunting since it seems to be performed by a non-human being, a spectre or some demon or angel. She seems to be wailing and weeping or perhaps even laughing sadistically. There is a percentage of people who cannot stand that kind of voice at all. It's actually true that in certain situations in certain locations this music may be able to scare the f**k out of a person.

Berislav Poje adds the masculine part to the music but will never dominate and his voice will appear rather seldom during the songs. But when one hears him, it will leave a strong impression. These kind of screams are emitted either from the throat of a very evil being or from a person who's being tortured. It adds a huge part to the horror atmosphere of the album.

All the time the music of this album acts like a table tennis play between realities. The first one serving as the beautiful garden and the other one as the courtyard of tortures. Images of beauty, dreams and blissful sorrow pop into mind and are replaced by some disturbing sounds to be replaced by beauty and meditation again. Dunja varies her voice well, creating bridges from one dimension to another. She has managed that perfectly.

Highlight from the album, sickest song ever, "Momentary Eclipse Of Hope," wailing of some siren which culminates with a torture chamber like sequence of painful male shrieking evokes the darkest possible fantasies. "Et Vidi Solem Evanere" is a possible candidate for the saddest-song-ever. "Shadow Of Somebody Else's Being" is also good and all in all this remarkable album fades away with beautiful relaxing sounds of nature and meditation... and male screams from afar expressing agonizing pain.

If you wish to experience adrenaline flow, don't watch horror films. Listening to "Desperate Existence" alone in the dark will have a similar effect.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Written by Ernis | 04.11.2007


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 21 users
03.01.2010 - 13:13
Account deleted
Hmmm, Im not sure but it seems that you were not into Doom Metal so much in those days when you have written this review, cause its not very depress as you said. but your review is very nice IMO. this album doesnt deserve those 8's. at least for me it seems near to 6.5 for me. cause its their second albums, it sould be very better than first one, but its not.

Edit: Vocals are overrated in this review.
02.08.2012 - 17:35
THE_BLACK_GOD can you please shut the fuck up please? Thanks!
Nice review. This is without a doubt one of the most depressing doom metal albums of all time.
An old jewel of the genre.
02.08.2012 - 18:00
Troy Killjoy
Written by Dooomy on 02.08.2012 at 17:35
THE_BLACK_GOD can you please shut the fuck up please? Thanks!

You don't have to worry about him... he deleted his account quite a while ago.
Prettier than BloodTears.

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