posted on 2/2008 By:
British doom metal seems to be on the rise again, and with this self-released debut full length, De Profundis have thrown their (large quantity of) weight into the fray. The UK seems to have finally shifted away from the right-then-let’s-mope-about-in-the-rain style of doom made so famous by My Dying Bride, Anathema, Paradise Lost, and countless others, and Beyond Redemption is a neat example of their countrymen’s newly diverse approach. Rooted squarely in punishing doom but mixing in heavy doses of both death and black metal along with a teensy pinch of jazz, this disc is a rarity: an effective, mature, fine-sounding debut album from an unsigned and untested band.
Well, maybe not entirely untested per se. Drummer Sterghios Moschos also holds down the throne for fellow London doomsters Pantheist, and the band wisely invested in the production/mastering expertise of Steve Watkins and Tim Turan—Beyond Redemption features a gravelly, muscular sound that easily outstrips most of their unsigned peers. Don’t let the Pantheist connection fool you, though; unlike that band or Esoteric, these fellas are not mired in über-slow funeral doom tempos. Rather, De Profundis tend to lumber rather than crawl, and that pendulous doom “swing” drives the vast majority of their material. Guitarists Roman Subbotin and Soikot Sengupta’s bludgeon like a really deliberate (or lazy) Stockholm death metal act; though there’s definitely melody to be had here, there’s no MDB melodrama or Finnish gloss to be found anywhere. Instead, a caustic blackened miasma hangs over Beyond Redemption, even during guitar solos and introspective clean moments, and it’s this dash of black metal grit that really helps distinguish De Profundis from their peers (though the actual blastbeaten black metal sections tend to flop—largely due to Craig Land’s inadequate attempts at a Norwegian rasp).
This said, De Profundis definitely stick pretty close to well-worn doom metal conventions: long songs, slow tempos, growled vocals, sad lyrics, clean/heavy dynamic changes, and the like. Sure, there’s the aforementioned touch of jazz, mostly in Aleksej Obradovich’s bass playing (which is only periodically audible). Fortunately, their conventionality works in their favor here. Their omnivorous riffing spares them _____-soundalike status, their execution is mostly right on the fuckin’ money, they’ve got a great-sounding production—and they’re not even signed yet. Beyond Redemption isn’t earth-shattering, but it’s definitely worth a listen; De Profundis are up-and-comers for sure.
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