posted on 5/2011 By:
From Russian doom stronghold Solitude Productions comes this rather intriguing slab of funeral doom from Septic Mind. Even to a doom fan, this particular branch of the genre can often be a chore to process and dissect—three twenty-minute tracks of crawling funereal misery don’t naturally make for a fulfilling doom feast, but Septic Mind is capable of adding in enough extraneous elements to remain interesting. Unfortunately, as promising as much of this material is, its variety ends up being Septic Mind’s Achilles heel as well as its strongest trait.
At their best, as heard on opener “The Beginning,” the band hammers out the hallmarks of the genre—crawling tempos, crashing avalanches of heft, and bowel-loosening pained roars—but the layered, clean guitar work provides a great deal of texture, and there’s a pronounced swirly otherworldliness in the background. Think somewhere in the middle of Mithras’ cavernous death metal on Behind the Shadows Lie Madness and Ufomammut’s bad-acid-trip freak-out, as heard on a funeral doom record. It’s definitely a different approach, and “The Beginning” remains very impressive and thoroughly engaging throughout its marathon runtime.
Things take a left turn with “The Misleading,” which begins with about five minutes of spacey ambience before sparse, melodic instrumentation joins for a bout of post-metal foreplay. It’s really only in the last five minutes of the track that it morphs into a traditional song. This developmental arc makes sense conceptually, but the song’s movements are simply too protracted to keep the listener hooked. The final song, “The Ones Who Left This World,” ends up being a combination of the strengths and deficits of the previous songs. Easily the most jarringly aggressive during its heavier stretches, this song at first feels the most traditional. But there are still pronounced shards of dissonance here, although less delicate and more unnerving in approach. This attack stands up, but isn’t nearly as convincing as the one employed in “The Beginning.” The song devolves at its climax, first into deconstructed heaviness, then into ambience that lasts far longer than it needs to. And that’s really the final word on Septic Mind. These guys wield a very potent brand of doom, and when it fires on all cylinders, it’s sure to leave a lasting mark. But they do need to focus on consistency and more importantly, self editing. But if they rise to that challenge, these guys are capable of producing a top-tier doom record.
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