Release DetailsLABEL Oak Knoll Productions
RELEASED ON 7/27/2005
Shroud of Bereavement
posted on 12/2005 By:
Poorly recorded doom/death on a medieval tip. Promise shines through despite uneven quality and corpulent fleshy structures.
...Of Ages is a compilation of demos and unreleased tracks. I didn't realize relatively unaccomplished bands could get away with releasing these kinds of albums, but I digress. What's offered here, then, is a condensed summary of what Shroud of Bereavement have to offer as a band. I'd say quite a bit, if you fancy yourself a fan of this kind of droning doom/death. The compositions drag, and the reliance on lower end keyboards is disappointing, but what matters is that there are good ideas here. There's a neo-classical thrust to each of the tracks, most of which resolve in extended interludes that are surprisingly rewarding. Despite its lack of cohesion, I actually found myself enjoying mostly all eight minutes of "Willowsoul," a song that exudes an impressive medieval predominance despite the low-fi recording. There's potential for some of these songs to be just... enormous and not just sonically, but thematically as well. The way SOB take their time to develop a tune like "The Absolution of Sorrow" at their own pace, add textures throughout, and bring back down to a stripped down logical conclusion is impressive.
There's a lot of wasted potential here though. There's too much spotlight shined on keyboard fondling or underdeveloped interludes, and not enough on the monolithic rhythm section that actually makes the songs heavy and captivating. The noodling may play a part in Shroud of Bereavement's arsenal, but when it completely dominates a song like "The Fools Lament," the result is pure tedium.
The scale actually dips toward boredom on most of the tracks here, but when I listen to demo material I'm only listening for captivating moments or ideas. Looking for great songs is just too frustrating. If Shroud of Bereavement could fashion an entire album with the kind of energy shown on tracks like "Must It Be" or with the forethought of "The Absolution of Sorrow," then they might be on to something.
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