Descend Into Despair - The Bearer Of All Storms
Domestic Genocide
Funeral Doom Metal
Disc 1: 4 songs (45:56) Disc 2: 3 songs (46:05)
Release year: 2014
Domestic Genocide
Reviewed by Neill

Descend Into Despair is a band that was brought to my attention a few months ago when this album was nearing release. This is the first album from this Romanian Funeral Doom act, and there is no shortage on material here. The 7 tracks on the album take up 2 discs, and 90 minutes of music, so there is a lot to digest. If you are familiar with bands along the lines of Mournful Congregation or Esoteric you will pretty much know how this album goes. There is no reinventing of the wheel on this album, but it is by no means bad or should get lost in the shuffle for the genre.

The album starts of with some very melodic keys, and really starts to set the mood for the album ahead. Once the music kicks in, it's very clear what these guys can do. Slow plodding sounds, made to be extremely mournful. Deep growl vocals and an overall sense of helplessness and despair, no pun intended. As expected with funeral doom, the music does not change much. Repetition is the name of the game on this album, and while it is is expected for this genre, there is almost too much of it. The passages on the songs could be trimmed down a bit, and honestly, there could stand to be a few more faster sections. One thing I love about a band such as Esoteric is that there is enough variety to keep the songs interesting for a 90+ minute album. The tracks do tend to drag a bit, and I do not feel this album needs to be as long as it is. Further, the vocals stay mostly in a deep growl, with the occasional clean, choir vocals and screams, but they are sadly not too interesting. The add to the atmosphere well, and do add some anguish to the album, but there are better vocalists in the genre.

Despite song lengths on this album, one thing we cannot deny is the mood and atmosphere presented here. It gets the job done. While I may enjoy some other bands more, I can say this is probably the most depressing sounding album I've heard in quite some time. The last time I remember feeling truly saddened and upset by a doom album was Despond by the band Loss in 2011. Also, while there are moments that could be trimmed down, there are some really incredible moments/ things on this album to make it worthy of a listen. Track 4, Triangle of Lies is a real standout. The Clean vocals in the song are very well done, and does add a nice layer to what the band are capable of. Talking about atmosphere, this song really brings it. The "faster" sections in the song is very catchy, and finds me banging my head a long instead of wallowing in despair. The keyboards add a great mood to the song as well, and make this really pop from the album. Also, the final track, The Embrace Of Earth has a beautiful acoustic guitar section about 2/3 of the way through the song, adding some thing a little different to the album. The track also picks up near the end speed wise, before fading away to keyboards and choir vocals. I feel it is a nice ending to the record, and brings everything full circle. Very fitting.

I will be the first to admit I am torn on this record. The atmosphere and the feeling it provides is exactly what it should do. It does sound helpless and it is by no means music to listen to to feel good. The performances are very well done (save for some of the vocals), but the tracks do seem too long, and a little more variety would help break up the album a bit more. There are some truly great moments/tracks on the record, but I feel the band is still trying to find themselves, and will need to do so to stand out further from the pack. This is however a great debut full length, and I do look forward to what the future holds for this Romanian group, as I feel they can become a force to be reckoned with in the genre. As this album is very dense, and there is a lot to listen to, it is not for a casual listener or to be used as background music. It does ask for your attention to really feel the emotion it is trying to put forth. Feel free to sample the album a bit from this promo the band released.

Killing Songs :
Portrait of Rust, Triangle of Lies, The Embrace of Earth
Neill quoted 70 / 100
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