Rating:
9.3
Shape Of Despair - Shades Of...
2000


01. ...In The Mist
02. Woundheir
03. Down Into The Stream
04. Shadowed Dreams
05. Sylvan-Night


Shape Of Despair, one of the few bands that unfolds in front of the very eyes of the listener the true faces of despair, parading one by one in front of his fearful eyes. "Shades Of…" is the first part of their bleeding legacy and despite the fact it is a debut album, it is a real masterpiece filling your hollow hours with moments of grief and pure bitterness with its lengthy compositions.

The guitar riffing is ultra slow and deeply mourning, being a bit on the background but evoking an obscure funeral feeling in the air. The floating keyboard melodies, along with the atmosphere-evoking flute pieces and female vocals that enter at times, that echo from beyond to disappear at times and then come back to life once again with the shadows, harmonize wonderfully with the deep grunting voice of the singer evoking a serene feeling of anger, bleakness and dismay; like a nightmare you're into, you're drowning but you love it…

"In here, every shadow in the ground passes me by… slow…"

"…In the Mist" opens the album and this is where you lose yourself, "in the mist", where memories dance with bitterness, where forlorn shadows kiss you softly draining all life from your bleeding body as the mourning riffing echos in a threatening way whereas the keyboard melodies bring this sweet nightmare to life interpreted in the most appropriate way by the grieving deep grunting voice of the signer. The journey through the mist goes on with "Woundheir" and you realize that "wound was the heir, the ruler within fire" as the flute's bittersweet sound evokes a feeling of solitude in the emotionally burdened atmosphere. The guitars echo from the deepest abyss along with the obscure percussion sounds and the singer's utterly descriptive penetrating grunts and obscure distorted recites interpreting twisted lyrics filled with anger float in the heavy air.

"Shadowed Dreams" keep on haunting every single moment of your life as the album goes on. The distinctive female vocals harmonize in utter bleakness with the mourning guitar riffing and the bitter sound of the flute whilst the singer interprets in utter greatness lyrics of pure poetry and solitude traveling you somewhere else, "to another world, to another consciousness, away of this time" "and you do watch with broken eyes how this weather forever will stay in your frozen heart". And you flow "Down Into the Stream" as pain blackens your horizon with the serene doleful keyboard melodies dancing macabre with your dying sight pacing wonderfully with the female vocals and the deep male grunts accompanied by the lurking guitar riffing evoking a feeling of sweet dismay and rising pain in the air leading to the closing theme of "Shades Of…" as "Sylvan-Night" comes to stay bringing forth its most shameful shadows. The atmosphere that floats in the air is the same as if you were lost in a forest of shadows and mist finding yourself "painfully wrapped in leafs" evoked in the most ideal way by the marriage of female vocals and keyboard melodies flirting wonderfully with the wailing sound of the guitars and descriptive male grunts.

Finland seems to be one of the most productive countries in the doom metal scene and Shape Of Despair one of its most delightful children. Skepticism fans and funeral (and even doom/death) metal adorers should definitely check this album out!


Band profile: Shape Of Despair
Album: Shades Of...


 



Written on 21.01.2005 by
DerRozzengarten
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
More reviews by DerRozzengarten ››



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heresiarch - 09.02.2008 at 02:23  
Great rewiew --- I totally agree with you
Bend Your Mind - 09.02.2008 at 03:39  
I too.They're an amazing band!
It's my second favourite after "Angels of Distress."
AiwiAstwihad - 14.02.2009 at 21:07  
Great album, except the lyrics maybe_in general_ but these lines rule anyway:
"Take me to another world, to another consciousness... away of this time And they do arose me... and I do watch...with broken eyes, how this weather...forever will stay...in my frozen heart... "

Make me wanna lie inside a grave or somethin....
BloodTears - 17.02.2009 at 14:42  
This album is very depressive and beautiful at the same time. It's like a funeral march really.

Shape of Despair is really an outstanding band, I like them and I don't even explore the doom metal scene that much.
Ozman - 17.02.2009 at 16:47  
Written by BloodTears on 17.02.2009 at 14:42

...I like them and I don't even explore the doom metal scene that much.


This is one of those doom bands that are pleasant on the ears and nto heard to get into. You don't have to be kneep deep or up to your neck into doom to be able to appreciate this.

Great album btw. IMO still their best.
tuerda - 27.03.2009 at 03:42  
I have recently started listenning to funeral doom and everyone around seemed to point me to Shape of Despair (and specifically this album). I have now finally heard it and I am not as impressed as I thought I would be. I think the keyboards are supposed to be eerie but they are really just annoying. The female vocals used as instruments are cool, and the male singer has an appropriate deep growling voice, but the overall impression is soul crushing only in the angsty teenage sense. Emotional music is fine (I like My Dying Bride, for instance) but this sort of cheesy fake emotions don't count. This is not exactly bad (maybe 7/10)but in melodic funeral doom there are several better alternatives (esoteric,pantheist,etc.) I guess I would recommend this to funeral doom beginners who are afraid of the serious stuff.
Vitriolic Hate - 31.12.2009 at 03:27  
Great funeral doom album!!
Mr. Doctor - 31.12.2009 at 23:05  
Written by tuerda on 27.03.2009 at 03:42

but the overall impression is soul crushing only in the angsty teenage sense. Emotional music is fine (I like My Dying Bride, for instance) but this sort of cheesy fake emotions don't count.


How ironic... I think that My dying Bride is the band that actually sound depressive in the angsty teenage way.
tuerda - 13.03.2010 at 03:21  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 31.12.2009 at 23:05

Written by tuerda on 27.03.2009 at 03:42

but the overall impression is soul crushing only in the angsty teenage sense. Emotional music is fine (I like My Dying Bride, for instance) but this sort of cheesy fake emotions don't count.


How ironic... I think that My dying Bride is the band that actually sound depressive in the angsty teenage way.


MDB isn't soul crushing at all. It isn't funeral doom and it isn't trying to be. I agree that the music is a bit overwrought and whiny, but it produces nostalgia and melancholy, like it's supposed to. Shape of Despair is funeral doom. It should make you - well - despair. It fails spectacularly on this count.
Mr. Doctor - 13.03.2010 at 03:52  
Written by tuerda on 13.03.2010 at 03:21

MDB isn't soul crushing at all. It isn't funeral doom and it isn't trying to be. I agree that the music is a bit overwrought and whiny, but it produces nostalgia and melancholy, like it's supposed to. Shape of Despair is funeral doom. It should make you - well - despair. It fails spectacularly on this count.


And MDB fails spectacularly while trying to produce nostalgia. But tastes differ.
Builtforsin88 - 24.03.2010 at 08:48  
This band is a new metal experience, to say the least. I think ima explore the doom metal scene some more.

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