Shores of Null - Black Drapes for Tomorrow
Candlelight Records
Melodic Dark Metal
11 songs (50' 51")
Release year: 2017
Candlelight Records
Reviewed by Andy

Though hailing from the warmer climes of Italy, Shores of Null's second full-length summons up the coldness of a band from much farther north. Black Drapes for Tomorrow has a sound similar to something by Amorphis or Katatonia, a species of progressive dark metal with doom elements.

The sound consists of ringing guitars with a high, whining lead over the top, sometimes carrying the slowness of doom metal, other times sped up to a gloomy rock beat. Lead singer Davide Straccione's weary-sounding, emotional voice switches between clean and harsh vocals, occasionally boosted to an angry roar on the chorus. This gloomy approach has its drawbacks: Occasionally, the band sounds so sad and introspective that the songs lose some of their energy; but at its best, such as on A Thousand Storms, the despairing vocals are lifted up by the melodic energy of the music. Straccione doesn't have the echoing bellow of Paradise Lost's Nick Holmes when he goes for a sound of despairing rage, but he still has more than sufficient strength to avoid making it fall flat.

Not that the band succeeds 100% at what it sets out to do. Why Tide Against Us and House of Cries don't have the same level of strength as the title track, despite similar tempos and styles, continues to be a mystery to me, but perhaps it's the production, which sometimes blends the individual elements of the sound together with the chorus harmonies into an uninteresting blob. The band usually overcomes this tendency simply by boosting the energy in the choruses, such as on Carry On, My Tiny Hope, increasing the tempo with Straccione's louder vocal to provide a chorus atmosphere very similar to Amorphis's folk-epic sound. When they do concentrate on doominess, they do it well; the already dark sound of the rhythm guitar work lends itself well to a slower and more depressive sound.

For those who like Northern European dark metal, Black Drapes for Tomorrow will probably hit the spot. With a fine balance struck between depressive slowness and energetic rock beats, Shores of Null has crafted this one quite nicely.

Killing Songs :
Carry On, My Tiny Hope, A Thousand Storms
Andy quoted 82 / 100
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