The Desolate Years
Gothic/doom metal has never been something that I really enjoyed, and even with excellent bands such as Draconian, I dreaded that extremely slow pace and that entire gloomy atmosphere presented on the genre. Out of Sweden comes another recent discovery, Desoluna and their debut studio release in the form of their EP The Desolate Years.
With Dismal Thoughts, Desoluna introduces their listeners to a melancholic, and at the same time almost hopeless soundscape. The rawness of the production is the first thing that one notices, and as the album progresses, this will be one of the things that really affect the enjoyment of the album, especially for those who are used to the more polished sounds of other bands. Music-wise, the only comparisons I can draw are to Draconian, with the alternating between the growls of Patrick and the clean singing of Nadia, though there are some slight death metal moments here and there with the riffs, a throwback to the earlier days of Paradise Lost or My Dying Bride.
Unfortunately, with the weak production over here, the impact of the album isn’t present. The guitars sound very weak, the drums sound programmed (not sure if they really were?), and the growls of Patrick lack that much needed aggression that would make the release stronger-sounding. Nadia’s vocals, while dreamy at times often sound aimless, can get rather inconsistent at times.
To be honest, the compositions on The Desolate Years are nothing offensive, but there are moments that are too cheesy, resulting in quite funny outcomes, like on Broken Harmony. With a title like that, perhaps it is on purpose that the growls of Patrick and the vocals of Nadia sound ever-so-slightly out of pace with each other. That horror-music effect that is attempted also sounds quite out of place, and almost forced.
While it could be argued that this is but Desoluna‘s debut release, but the overall sound for The Desolate Years, one would think of this as a demo release rather than an EP, and it is this minor distinction that would affect one’s expectations of the release. Still, recognition has to be given where it is due, and The Desolate Years certainly displays Desoluna‘s ability to create a dark and gloomy outlook for the listener.
Desoluna on the internet: