Review by Jack on May 8, 2002.
Somber Serenity is a rare gem that I have had the pleasure of recently unearthing. Morbid and melancholy in their musical output, and possessing strong doom/death ties throw these four lads from southern Germany into the very depths of the darkest metal. I had never heard Somber Serenity before I first played their new album “Singular”, apparently I have been living in box for my whole life as they have quite an accomplished live arsenal. Playing with bands such as My Dying Bride, The Gathering and Night In Gales is sure to raise some eyebrows in terms of playing talent and musical ability. After all the aforementioned bands are cream of the crop in the doom/gothic section of metal, and I have to say that Somber Serenity and “Singular” are not too far away from them.
With 8 songs spanning 60 plus minutes of dark metal goodness, we aren’t going to be too many radio singles from Somber Serenity. Probably the most striking aspect of “Singular” (aside from their obvious talent) is the ability that Somber Serenity possess; to create solid mood and atmosphere with each of the 8 songs on “Singular”. Every song is intriguing and has the impressive aptitude to throw the listener in and out of the guitar riffs or particular vocal chords seamlessly. Whether it be a galloping section in ‘Tragedy Star’ or a smooth and brooding piece in the 14 minute closer; ‘Nemesis, My Childe’, “Singular” flows beautifully. The beauty of all this is that Somber Serenity is still able to retain the same dark atmosphere while throwing the listener through a myriad of moods and tempos.
Lyrically, Somber Serenity writes rather cryptically for each of their song titles. Depression and darkness seem to be the standard sort of thoroughfare for bands of the doomy nature, and “Singular” does not disappoint (I guess a happy-go-lucky doom band would be a contradiction in terms). If I am correct for the song ‘Goddess of Light’, it tells the story of a man who lives inside his mind (perhaps antisocial and very reclusive) and imagines the thought of an incredibly beautiful and enchanting woman who appears to him one day. The apparition makes him smile and feel happy. Every night he would look forward to sleep as it would bring him his ‘Goddess of Light’ and then one night she does not return, ‘...she dies as a dream might...’ Pretty interesting stuff, if you are into it.
Bottom Line: Make no bats (insert any other dark/gothic word here you deem fit) about it, Somber Serenity are a classy outfit, with no real identifiable shortcomings. Flowing tremendously, “Singular” is a quality album.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 7.8 out of 10