Release DetailsLABEL Stygian Crypt Productions
RELEASED ON 12/1/2006
Sea of Desperation
Spiritual Lonely Pattern
posted on 4/2007 By:
Sea of Desperation is yet another promising act from Russia whose take on melodic doom, though somewhat late to the party, is as solid as ever. Melding the sounds of Brave Murder Day era Katatonia with a less pretentious sounding Orchid era Opeth, if you will, Spiritual Lonely Pattern is a beautifully composed album containing eight tracks of slow to mid-paced, brooding gloom.
Though not all that original in its approach, this is a well-executed album that is certain to please fans of the above mentioned albums and the bands that produced them. SoD’s lone member, Lefthander (Fatal Rampage, Lamia Phantasma, Raxa, Tenochitlan and Groves of Mist), plays all of the instruments on the recording, and his musicianship matches his songwriting ability, which is astute enough to get away with simply following in the footsteps of those that initially laid the groundwork for this sound. What you’ll hear in the listening experience is some basic bass and drum work (I’m guessing the drums are programmed) that never really veers out of the box, and a plethora of simple, driving guitar riffs that lay the absolutely perfect foundation for the delay heavy and eerily sullen melodic guitar overlays, ala Katatonia. Acoustic moments, both in the form of actual acoustic guitar work and cleanly strummed electric work, litter the album and, although not all that fancy, provide an open spaced and morose sounding mood.
If there’s a catch that may turn off the metal buyer, it’s the fact that the vocals just don’t live up to the songwriting. With a low end growl that’s nothing more than a second-rate Michael Åkerfeldt (Opeth) meets Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth) you almost wish old Lefthander would do his project the service of finding a decent vocalist to put the music over the top. Most of the cleaner sung vocals are nothing more than spoken word, and the one attempt at some Jonas Renske (Katatonia) worship on the album’s final number falls somewhat short. With that said, all of the ingredients are in place, and the music more than makes up for it, but in my opinion a fluid and knowledgeable singer would have made the listen more enjoyable.
At the end of the day I can’t say enough about the latest batch of promos we’ve gotten from Stygian Crypt. First the doom n’ death crush of Arcanar, then the mightily impressive Amber Tears – as pointed out to you by Metal Review’s own Michael Wuensch – and now the equally impressive dirges of Sea of Desperation. The Russians are looking to make some waves with these releases, and rightfully so. To be honest, I hope they keep it up, because they deserve to be heard just as much as the next band. Like I stated earlier, though this band might be a little late to the party, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt simply because as hard as it is for us to get our paws on music from that part of the globe, they may have had just as much trouble over the years getting their hands on the music that is so easily accessible to most of us. Solid work and recommended for fans that miss that early Katatonia vibe.
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