Shape Of Despair - Official Website

Angels Of Distress

Finland Country of Origin: Finland

Angels Of Distress
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: 2001
Genre: Atmospheric, Doom
1. Fallen
2. Angels Of Distress
3. Quiet These Paintings Are
4. …To Live For My Death…
5. Night's Dew

Review by Krys on February 9, 2002.

What do you usually get when you buy a Relapse release? Ass-whooping, blazing fast groups that are so angry at the world around them that the only feeling you have left after listening to any of those hatred albums is ear-splitting noise. So, imagine my surprise when I popped Shape of Despair’s “Angels of Distress” and was able to make a coffee between drum beats.

Finland’s Shape of Despair is one of the most unique bands that exemplifies everything that’s opposite of the current trends and people’s tastes. Representing probably the least popular style of metal, doom, they concentrate their efforts on writing the s-l-o-w-e-s-t, most atmospheric yet beautiful and melodic tunes in today’s scene.

Only 5 tracks, ranging from 6 to 17 minutes, are filled with stunning harmonies, heavy guitars, the amazing guttural vocals of Pasi Koskinen (Amorphis - you won’t believe the depth of his voice) and a majestic rhythm section that sounds like it was forced not to use its full potential to avoid any unnecessary distractions in the very dreamy melodies.

All those elements create such an unforgettable aura around “Angels of Distress” that you might find yourself unwittingly staring outside the window for hours on one of those cold winter days warming your mind with romantic mourning and sorrow. All tracks are equally amazing with songs ‘Quiet These Paintings Are’ and ‘Night’s Dew’ being instant hits (if you can call a doomy song a hit). The only track below the album’s standard would be ‘...To Live For My Death...’ which lost my attention somewhere after the 10th minute.

Bottom Line: Absolutely a must for any fan of atmospheric and doom metal.

Categorical Rating Breakdown

Musicianship: 9
Atmosphere: 10
Production: 9
Originality: 9
Overall: 9

Rating: 9.2 out of 10