Death Comes Crawling - Looking for Semblance
I, Voidhanger Records
9 songs (44' 39")
Release year: 2018
I, Voidhanger Records
Reviewed by Andy

Dis Pater is best known to metalheads for his atmospheric black metal project Midnight Odyssey, which we've reviewed in the past, but he has many interests. His side project The Crevices Below explored darker depths of his black metal influences, whereas Death Comes Crawling goes precisely the other direction and highlights gothic pop. Anyone who's heard Midnight Odyssey knew that its frontman has both the capability and desire to create this kind of album -- there is certainly plenty of 80s synth influence in that project --, but seeing its execution in action is still impressive, even if this isn't a metal album.

Looking for Semblance has all the essential ingredients, and Dis Pater didn't even have to tweak his metal sound much to get this; the album's cold monotone vocal delivery, echoing production, and swelling synths are instantly familiar. The tracks' beats are the danceable mid-tempo beats of an 80s dance floor, mingled with a bouncy bass and a ringing post-punk guitar line. Pater's oddly uplifting melodies have the feel of minor-key hymns, a feeling emphasized by his heavily layered chorus vocals.

My favorites tend to be more melodic -- The Changing Winds of Fortune and Nothing to Find are standouts, and the latter has a great hook in the chorus -- but there are darker, flatter tunes such as Escape. Something Buried Deep in Me is also very good; Pater's vocals are somewhat muffled under the instruments, which include a quivering synth line that accentuates the bass, combined with another synth melody on top. Take some of the 80s New Wave groups -- Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, maybe some New Order -- mix them in a blender and then darken the sonic palette by about half, and you get this song.

Looking for Semblance may be best enjoyed by listeners who cross over to other dark music genres due to its pop overtones, but it's a worthwhile listen by one of today's leading ABM musicians and I liked it. Goth fans, needless to say, will feel right at home with this album.


Killing Songs :
The Changing Winds of Fortune, Nothing to Find, Something Buried Deep in Me
Andy quoted 81 / 100
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