Release DetailsLABEL Firebox Records
RELEASED ON 9/17/2007
Ghosts Of Devotion
posted on 9/2007 By:
Finland has been a breeding ground for some of the most melancholic and sorrowful music to hit the underground over recent years, and the country’s newest creation of despondence and despair is the crushingly powerful death/doom act Depressed Mode. Originally intended to be a project of mainly synth programming and keyboard work, main man Ossy Salonen started off his venture by writing a few songs of the like. But after catching a bit of flak for not having guitars within his work from the folks who had the chance to hear the songs, he made the wise decision to bring aboard close friend and guitarist Tomppa Turpeinen to remedy the problem and add what would ultimately lead to an entirely new vibe to his already concrete ideas. Add his low end death roars topped off by the beautifully and serenely clean vocals of Shape of Despair’s Natalie Koskinen, and Ghosts of Devotion is one hell of an impressive debut release.
Each song is carved from the same chunk of rock that sees the keys and cleanly sung female vocals breathe the melody, while Salonen’s hellacious low end and undeniably Finnish roar coupled with a thick n’ hefty guitar tone plow the band’s path toward the sorrow and sadness it simply seems to long for. You get your minutely up-tempo dirges ("Alone", "Words of Silence", "Suffer in Darkness"), your funeral paced loping ("So Long", "Ghosts of Devotion", "The Sun is Dead"), the catchy anthem-esque rumblings ("Fallen Angel", "Cold") and a decent cover of Burzum’s “Dunkelheit” (again, decent… but I’ll take the Reverend Bizarre version when looking to hear a remake). The keyboard/synth work, which really is the main force heard within all of the songs, will at times remind you of the circus-like theatrics of say Old Man’s Child/Dimmu Borgir meets newer Arcturus, though don't let that lead you to believe Depressed Mode sounds like any of those bands as a whole. Other times the key work adds a simple layer of atmosphere while the interplay between Koskinen’s simply awesome cleans and Salonen’s brutish bellows have their say. The guitar riffs, though very simplistic, are accentuated by a heftily produced sound that is as powerful as anything released these days. An album that immediately came to mind as far as guitar tone goes is Graveworm’s mighty Engraved in Black. Filled with texture and full on richness, the tone provided by producer Jori Haukio (ex-Mors Principium Est) is as meaty as it gets and proves yet again that the Finns just don’t produce bad sounding records.
Musicianship-wise there is nothing going on that will wow you, yet when you take the simple approach each member employs and mix that with great songwriting ability you get an album where nary a bad song can be found. All in all I was very, very pleased to get my grubby little paws on this promo and I recommend it highly for those who dig funeral paced doom of burly proportions with heavy keyboard leanings. Whether you love or hate the genre, folks, this album along with new releases from Swallow the Sun, Reverend Bizarre and Funeral, just to name a few, make this the year of slooooowww and absolutely crushing DOOM!!! Do both yourself and this band a favor and add Ghosts of Devotion to your collection.
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