Desire - Locus Horrendus - The Night Cries Of A Sullen Soul
Self released
Romantic Doom Metal
11 songs (69'00)
Release year: 2002
Reviewed by Crims

I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of Doom Metal but I decided to give Desire a whirl. Desire hail from Portugal, where they had a semi-successful recording career in the mid 90’s by releasing a demo, a full length under Skyfall records in Portugal, and a mini-CD. According to the bands website, their debut full-length garnered great reviews. A couple of years later, and with no success finding a new record deal, Desire release this opus independently (to my knowledge). Although production wise this doesn’t sound like a typical indie band at all.

I’m sort of torn with this release. On one hand, we have some remarkable atmosphere present. Desire intended this CD to be a concept release, and even without the lyrics in front of you, you just get that feeling as songs tend to flow together, feature spoken word dialogue, and have a general feeling of a story due to multiple vocal styles and possibly characters. Musically Desire are rather slow in the traditional Doom sense, but this isn’t your Black Sabbath styled Doom. This is more along the lines of romantic doom, which is further made apparent by symphonic keys and piano. Some double bass is used, although played behind close to mid-paced riffing, and one section on Dark Angel Bird (A Poet Of Tragedies) contains blast beats, but played behind slow riffing… in fact, this was one of the most interesting sounding parts on the CD. But back to the music as a whole: the songs are very long, often going over 10 minutes and featuring epic progression and a lot of mood changes. While some arrangements are brilliant with the combination of depressing, slow riffs, and eerie synth work, others are just plain boring. Maybe it’s just me, and it probably is, but I can only handle so much plodding. Some songs just have too many ultra slow parts (references to Saint Vitus can be made in the slowness factor); I realize that slow tempos is a staple of Doom but this is almost too slow and long for its own good. Never before has a band made a 10 minute song feel like an hour. But perhaps that’s the point, I don’t know, but I can only tell you it did not appeal to me. Keep in mind though; this only refers to about 2 tracks in their entirety and a couple of sections in the others. However, there are many times where the song writing and atmosphere really shine through because of the aforementioned factors, especially the synth work.

I mentioned before that the vocal styles could be seen as characters. So what are the vocal styles used? Well, there is a good number: the most prominent is a Doom/Death style, seen employed by the likes of early Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride; secondly is a more traditional Black Metal style, with references to, at times, slower Black Metal bands like Judas Iscariot; and of course the typical female vocalist who sings in a style similar to what Cradle Of Filth have used in the past; and lastly is the ever popular (for this band) spoken word. The spoken word is mostly done in a clean voice which is very similar to Moonspell, obviously due to the same Portuguese accent. Overall this combination of vocal styles, many which interchange often, really brings life to the songs. While the phrasing could be a bit better, I did feel it was a quality approach and it did add to the epic romantic Doom atmosphere that Desire was obviously trying to accomplish.

Generally speaking this release was enjoyable. I really appreciated what Desire was trying to accomplish and some songs are, as I said, brilliant. Although I don’t know if it’s something I would listen to over and over again. I don’t mind long songs, but in the case of Desire, some are just too slow and plodding, as I eluded to earlier, and this really bogs down the listening experience, as 69 minutes is a lot to swallow. So as much as I like the concept and the atmosphere when it’s at its best this release just isn’t consistent enough for me to give really high scores to. For those of you who have a very high interest in this style of Doom Metal then you’ll probably really appreciate almost every second of this release though, every one else, try before you buy if possible.

Killing Songs :
Frozen Heart... Lonely Soul..., The Weep Of Mounrful Dust, An Autumnal Night Passion- Movement 2, Dark Angel Bird (A Poet Of Tragedies)
Crims quoted 70 / 100
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