Release DetailsLABEL Prophecy
RELEASED ON 12/1/2003
Gardens of Gehenna
posted on 2/2004 By:
Lets take a stroll through the dank and dreary Gardens of Gehenna, shall we? Actually, these gardens are more like a graveyard, and the stroll is more like a war march of undead descending upon a sleepy, unsuspecting village. This march is slow, with a heavy leaden foot, but it pushes forward, unwaveringly, never stopping for a respite.
There is a brief slice of evocative imagery to carry with you while absorbing what Mechanism Masochism has to offer. Garden of Gehenna play doom/death with a militant edge, while still managing to incorporate industrial elements and subtle synthesizer work. The bulk of their songs consist of heavyweight chords played at a marching pace, forming a slow and steady cadence. Where Gardens of Gehenna fall short is with their lack of morose melodies. While their heavy bits are as good as, if not better than, those of peer bands such as My Dying Bride, Mourning Beloveth, and The Prophecy, it is the somber leads that propel these bands, and what holds Gardens of Gehenna back. The industrial fragments that are introduced add a small measure of distinction, but could be used more effectively. Mechanism Masochism is produced well, with a clear sound and a nice, thick guitar distortion.
What caught my interest immediately are the striking similarities between the opener, “The Downfall of Jezira”, and slower Nile songs, particularly “Sarcophagus”. The synths sound slightly Arabian/Egyptian, compounding the comparison. “Sestra” makes me want to lace up the black boots and go marching across the frozen fields of my burg of Boston, in search of some good old-fashioned pillaging. “Opus Noctis” is an amalgamation of styles, with furious bouts, of double-bass drumming, dominant synthwork, and dour melodies all given separate chunks of the track. “Dark Angel” finally utilizes the melancholic melodies that I’d been pining for, but as the next-to-last track, it’s too little too late.
Mechanism Masochism is an album that has impressive potential, but ultimately, is a little under-reaching. Strong riffs are ridden for too long, and songs don’t quite expand as much as I’d like them to. Also, certain songs sound too much alike, making it difficult to differentiate amongst differing tracks. Gardens of Gehenna certainly have their appeal, but for the metalhead just dabbling in doom/death, there are more impressive bands out there.
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