Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Shape of Despair - Shades Of... (J)
Safe to say, this is my favorite release out of the entire funeral doom genre. Such power and emotion conveyed throughout the duration of the disc is unmatched in the metal world.
Slow, plodding riffs with REAL instruments (along with keyboard arrangements) dominate this album. Songs such as opener "...In the Mist" have waltzy feels with 6/8 rhythms, though I don't believe anyone will be waltzing to this.
The male vocals on the album are very powerful, a more voiced version of fellow countrymen Skepticism with a slight nasal quality, shared with very gentle, soaring female vocals. The lyrics written for "Shades Of..." are profoundly sad, telling of a traveler who is banished from his town and is doomed to walk the Earth for eternity, unable to die. Speak of "[his] frozen feet" add on much to the rich, despondent atmosphere displayed through the cold folky-orchestral arrangements and wall-of-noise guitars and slow, plodding drums in the backgrounds.
Rhythm does not vary from song to song, which might turn many away, but I view this 5-song masterpiece as one piece of music divided into 5 movements, like, say, a Dream Theater CD (though I would never even think of comparing the two).
This is a very good introductory album for someone who wishes to get into funeral doom metal. The many melodies that occur simultaneously, though slow, are very catchy and clutch you in their icy grip, not letting go until the cd is over, and you still want to hear more.
Favorites (though each song is amazing):
...In the Mist