Ghosts Of Devotion
Review by Anna on July 11, 2010.
I have not read any reviews of this album but I have a feeling this would have caused a few severely split opinions. I find this "split opinion" even within myself. I try to be as unbiased as possible in reviews and life as much as I can help it, but this is the type of "situation" where you catch yourself being human.
I will lay down the "absolutes" of this album first: It's dark, "eerie", there are keyboards, cello, "female vocals", and they seem to classify themselves as "Death Doom" and "Funeral Doom".
The first time I listened to this I was not actually writing the review, like I usually do. In retrospect, I realize that my first opinion was largely a reaction... to the ideas and information that was already "in place". I felt, and still feel, that the music is bland, the composition undeveloped and UNenticing, and that all the clean vocals are insufficient in quality for what the music "calls for". But why my negative reaction completely stomped out any room for a positive viewpoint at first was because of this: The genre classification, which I wholeheartedly disagree with, lead me to "see" the music AS, and compare it TO, said genre and its "doings". As such I did not see the music for what it was, which to me is nothing short of (or "nothing more than" if you prefer) "Gothic Metal" with funereal elements. If they were going for Funeral Doom they have failed miserably. The key to this was PERSPECTIVE, and perspective can and often does make all the difference.
The second time around my head was not so wrapped up in the information provided, and I was able to find a few nice things within the music. I always did think the "piano" parts were beautiful, even if the main melodies are too EASY to comprehend, but this time I was able to sense a few decent ones as well that HAVE potential. I was even able to "feel" the music for a few moments the second time around. Despite these few "positives" and the fancy "frills" of the album, as I implied earlier, there is no TENSION in the music. What I'm about to say is X-rated so please skip the rest of this paragraph if you are not comfortable. It feels like a LOUSY HANDJOB that does not need to BE one. There is no variation nor sensitivity of touch in the "stroking", AKA composition, and the "emotion" is not convincing. Even a bad handjob feels better than no handjob, but come on guys, it's time to bust out the passion and baby oil and MAKE US WHIMPER. I BEG YOU.
As so many are jumping on this Death/Doom/Dark bandwagon with little success, I naturally have my suspicions on intent. Time will tell, and those who know will know. But I just couldn't help but to draw two parallels that have me raising an eyebrow. The title of this album as well as the choice of cover song, somehow are a little too reminiscent of two 2005 releases, also from this very country and "genre".
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 6.8 out of 10