Loss - Despond review

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Band: Loss
Album: Despond
Release date: May 2011

01. Weathering The Blight
02. Open Veins To A Curtain Closed
03. Cut-Up, Depressed And Alone
04. Deprived Of The Void
05. An Ill Body Seats My Sinking Sight
06. Despond
07. Shallow Pulse
08. Conceptual Funeralism Unto The Final Act (Of Being)
09. Silent And Completely Overcome
10. The Irreparable Act

Nothing's better than a line of soul-crushing and devastating under-waves. And to be more precise, that's exactly the moment Loss appears out of nowhere with Despond - after a bunch of demos/splits - and shake the foundations of funerary doom(/death). Everything is admirable concerning their first full-length and the black & white cover artwork captivates the eye of the listener and forges a very strong first impression. Not only does it possess depth as a drawing, but also emphasizes it in the details; quite an obscure theme as well, an entity at its funerary bed inside an overshadowed room filled with stalking portraits.

What else could you ask for? Of course some good music and according to the parameters, some good desolate music; and that's what Loss delivers. They're not here to torment you with some form of extreme doom; they're up to fill the grey in your soul with bereaving sound colors, which is always better than apathy, don't you think? At least you know what you're going through. After you've cherished the album's soundscapes for the first time one thing is for sure, variety blossoms through the compositions and makes the album less "monotonous" than other releases/bands. Not that "monotony" isn't welcome in this specific genre, but it's good to embrace variety once in a while just for a change.

It's not about ultra slow excavating riffing all the time; where Loss succeeds has to be the fact that they embed melody in big doses during their songs, henceforth the guitars play a more important role rather than a lurking menace or Marche Funèbre. Melodic ideas and beautiful chords make their appearance every now and then, beautifying the ambiance and lessening the burden with sincere melancholy. Yet, there are plenty of things that complete and adorn the overall scenery even more: the ultra deep grunting vocals; a few chanting tones and recitations; the mesmerizing and desolate singing on "Silent And Completely Overcome"; the slight piano appearances; the echoing percussion; the spot-on drumming; and the pounding bass lines. As for the production, it lends a wall of sound of its own to the compositions, a more dynamic and imposing for sure, but a gentle one, too.

"Despond" is bound to keep you heartfelt company for a bit more than an hour and don't even think it'd make you feel tired. Loss are talented enough to keep your interest at high levels, something they prove by simply putting it into practice. Feel free to dive into the underwater corridors of woe.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Written on 09.11.2011 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."


Comments: 8   Visited by: 186 users
09.11.2011 - 02:49
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Totally agreed.

Although I do want to point out that the desolate singing on 'silent and completely overcome', the clean vocals that is, are guest vocals done y the vocalist of Pallbearer (full length out soon via Profound Lore as well)
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

09.11.2011 - 03:45
Ag Fox
Angel No More
Lovely review as usual. Need to check it out
loves 小巫
09.11.2011 - 04:00
Good review; though i'd confidently give at least a 9.5. i've listened to this at least three times a week since i got it, which was months ago - smoke too much weed to remember what month or whatever. i know it was in the summer, though. anyway, this is probably my favorite record of the year. it's just so fucking good!
09.11.2011 - 08:03
Troy Killjoy
Excellent review, even though I'd rate it closer to the lower half of the 8s. Initially I thought this was a top 10 of the year album, but after a few listens it seemed to fade.

Great extreme doom with a decent amount of melody. And while not a household name, still a good place to start for newcomers to the genre.
Prettier than BloodTears.
09.11.2011 - 10:52
Merchant of Doom
It's an 8 for me... just because it gets a tad boring after a few spins...
09.11.2011 - 14:12
A good review from my favorite Doom/Death/Black metal reviewer
13.11.2011 - 09:00
Account deleted
It's a solid release and they were great live too when they opened for Agalloch.
11.04.2012 - 06:50
Troy's right, this album helped ease me into the Funeral side of Doom, and I must say it hasn't been topped yet. There's variety provided by some trippy interludes, and the solemn melodies that keep popping up make it the prettiest ugly album (or is it the ugliest pretty album?) I can think of.

Great review, spot on... Oh and I hear there's a double LP that should be out, or will be very soon, Loss on vinyl + rainy evening = Well, not a good time, but I want it!

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