Rating:
7.5
Desolate Soul - Disheartenment
18 April 2010


01. Intro
02. A Dream In Which I Died
03. She Bleeds Darkness
04. Mother Of Night
05. ...Of Loss And Mourning


Desolate Soul is a one man band hailing from Estonia and its living energy is Deathrow. Disheartenment is his first effort and it was released from the Ukrainian label Depressive Illusions Records in the form of a very limited tape. Taking into consideration everything that was mentioned above and the meaning behind the name of the band, the man behind it, the title of the record and the name of the label, the band could move either in doom/black or depressive black metal soundscapes, in this case the second option is the correct one; or the truth lies somewhere in the middle. And the cover is really beautiful, I pretty much enjoyed the calligraphy type and of course, the artwork itself.

Disheartenment may be a demo yet it reaches the 52 minutes of duration despite the fact it consists only of 5 compositions of which the one is the intro. Of course the sound is unoriginal, you can't act that personal nowadays in the depressive black metal scene, everything's been played, all that remains to prove is how well you tolerate your self-inflicted pain in your compositions and how well this factor balances with your inspiration/performance. Deathrow knows really well the scene and with utter respect both to bands like Bethlehem, Shining, Xasthur etc and to himself he manages to present a sincere work and I'm glad I didn't find Disheartenment funny like I usually do with small and uprising bands in this specific field of metal.

As you might have guessed, the production is not the best you could find around, it's quite foggy, yet it serves its purpose in the most appropriate way helping the overall atmosphere sound even more ominous through the desolate prism it's being filtered. Some slight things that might get annoying at times have to be the ending of the howling screams, especially during the first minutes of "A Dream In Which I Died" (later on it's being fixed quite a lot) and the drum sound (if it's real drumming, then it sounds like a drum machine quite a lot), but you get used to it, after all it's not the first band that uses it in the black metal scene. The strong part of the album is the guitar work, many beautiful harassing melodies, inspired acoustic passages and razor sharp riffing that can't be ignored simply because they're to the point; and the point is all the words starting with "d" in terms of melancholic metal. And the vocals of course, they're not bad, not at all, the unearthly, tormented screams suit the music really well, it's just that they require some slight training only in the endings.

Concluding, Disheartenment is a very good release, cliché but inspired and filled with bleak emotions and the adorers of this specific part of black metal could give it a shot, it might be a hell of an underground act, many of which are pure shit, yet Deathrow's hell-ucinations through Desolate Soul have an intense reason of existence and I really hope that in the near or far future a forth-coming release will be even more positive, well, through its negativity.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 8


 



Written on 29.11.2010 by
DerRozzengarten
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
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Raging Dreamer - 30.11.2010 at 10:36  
Excellent review. And not a bad score at all, considering this is his first release. The guitar work really is great on this album, and good, constructive criticism is always useful. His next release should be even better. I hope to be able to enjoy it within the next year or so. We shall see.

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