posted on 6/2010 By:
Having done more than my fair share of cherry-picking tasty albums from the Metal Review album queue lately, I decided to go for a nearly blind reservation with this one, and damn if I didn’t luck out again. When one thinks of Greek metal, it’s likely more traditional and bright and shiny approaches that come to mind, but Shattered Hope bucks that notion, showing how woe they can go with this strong and ambitious set of doom/death pieces.
Absence kicks off with the sprawling “Amidst Nocturnal Silence,” which sets a tone more akin to funeral doom during much of its opening movements. But Shattered Hope does an excellent job of varying the tempos both within and between their songs. “Yearn” is a heavy, midtempo track that damn near sounds thrash-like when compared to the anguished, crawling gait of the album’s slowest passages. These tempo shifts come across naturally and the band’s sound is admirably cohesive, especially for such a young outfit, and this helps them stave off the “samey” feel that lesser bands trying this style sometimes struggle to avoid.
There are a couple other things contributing to the album’s success. The first is the conventional but always well-executed judicious use of keys, both piano and synths. They’re never overused, and they add texture and further the mournful, dramatic flavor of the material. Also showing well is vocalist Nick, who has a rich, full growl that pulls off the stretching, long notes used in the style. There are also some more raspy, sharp background vocals sometimes added in for contrast.
Not much to find fault with here. You could argue that at over an hour the album is a bit bloated, but the material does flow well. I haven’t come across much quality doom/death metal as of late, and Shattered Hope is a welcome find and a band to watch.
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