Doom:VS - Earthless (CD)

death doom metal, Solitude Productions, Solitude Productions
8.18 

CD

Price in points: 900 points
SP. 088-14 x
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Solitude Productions proudly presents the third long-awaited album of Doom:VS, a Johan Ericson’s band, a permanent member and a guitarist of a famous Swedish band Draconian! This new dark masterpiece by Doom:VS includes the best elements of the traditional band sound: outstanding melodies, gloomy atmosphere of sorrow and despair, depressive lyrics and, needless to say, highest quality of sound and performance. As always, Johan Ericson performed all instruments parties and clean vocals, while growl parties were performed by a special guest, Thomas A.G. Jensen, the vocalist of Saturnus who brought additional atmosphere and notes of desperation to the «Earthless» with his charismatic vocal.

Tracklist:
1 Earthless 7:34
2 A Quietly Forming Collapse 9:18
3 White Coffins 8:53
4 The Dead Swan Of The Woods 7:27
5 Oceans Of Despair 8:12
6 The Slow Ascent 9:13

Artist:
Doom:VS
Artist Country:
Sweden
Album Year:
2014
Title:
Earthless
Style:
death doom metal
Format:
CD
Type:
CD Album
Package:
Jewel Case
Label:
Solitude Productions
Cat No:
SP. 088-14
Release Year:
2014
Barcode:
4627080610354
Country Of Manufacture:
Russia
Review
Iye Zine
9/10
07.05.2014

Il progetto funeral/death doom di Johan Ericson, Doom Vs., arriva al terzo album toccando quello che, probabilmente, è il punto più alto di una discografia già contraddistinta da prove di assoluta eccellenza.

Difficile da credersi, infatti, per chi ha considerato “Aeternum Vale” uno dei dischi migliori mai pubblicati in questo genere, eppure il mastermind dei Draconian riesce nell’impresa, avvalendosi della collaborazione di un pezzo da novanta quale Thomas A.G. Jensen.
Operazione, questa, che paradossalmente si portava appresso i suoi bravi rischi, visto che il ricorso a una voce così caratterizzante come quella del singer danese avrebbe potuto portare ad un inevitabile “saturnizzazione” del sound, facendo così perdere ai Doom:Vs buona parte della loro peculiarità.
Ericson, al contrario, si svincola dai paragoni con un nome così ingombrante come quello dei Saturnus, privilegiando l’aspetto drammatico delle composizioni rispetto a quello malinconico anche se, in maniera analoga al modus operandi dei maestri danesi, il lavoro melodico è affidato a una chitarra che sa toccare i meandri più reconditi dell’anima e, alla fine, il fatto che a macinare accordi struggenti sia Johan piuttosto che Rune Stiassny fa poca differenza.
Resta il fatto che Earthless si rivela sì un regalo quasi inatteso per chi ha adorato Saturn In Ascension ma è, soprattutto, la conferma del talento cristallino del musicista svedese, che dopo un album perfetto dal punto di vista formale ma inferiore al suo predecessore dal punto di vista del coinvolgimento emotivo come “Dead Words Speak”, ritorna a parlare direttamente al cuore degli appassionati con una manciata di lunghi brani, convincenti sia nei loro preziosi spunti melodici sia nell’alternanza tra il growl e il caratteristico recitato di Thomas, il tutto integrato dalle efficaci clean vocals a cura dello stesso Johan.
Cinquanta minuti di qualità impagabile, di puro godimento per le anime sensibili che si crogiolano in queste sonorità, con picchi di rara bellezza rinvenibili nella più saturniana A Quietly Forming Collapse, nel dolente lirismo di White Coffins e nella conclusione capace di indurre lacrime liberatorie affidata a The Slow Ascent.
Un’altra gemma di inestimabile valore estratta da quella miniera inesauribile chiamata doom.

Author: Stefano Cavanna
Review
Two Metal Guys Reviews
07.06.2014

For someone who loves doom metal as much as I do, it's been a surprisingly long time since I've covered a top notch doom record. Fortunately today I have the opportunity, nay, blessing, to tell you guys about the almighty destruction of Doom:VS's new record Earthless. Replete with rich orchestration, very guttural growls, and some artsy acoustic passages, it's pretty clear that Doom:VS are set to rise above the challenge of their rivals and become true doom lords. 10 years worth of releases are finally paying off for a seminal Swedish doom band.

One of my favorite aspects of Earthless is the melodic guitar lines which nicely compliment colossal riffs in songs like A Quietly Forming Collapse. This one man project really gives us a view inside the head of Johan Ericson, that despite the bleakness there can be some light. His epic compositions drag in the listener and often tear hearts to shreds. The song structures here are unique and refreshing, they often make use of contrast between a heavier doom metal crush, and more laid back and refined parts that use simpler orchestration. The voice overs add a lot of flavor to the tracks and give a whole new layer of depth to Earthless, making it worth many a spin.

Doom:VS has once again proven that Johan Ericson really understands what doom metal is all about. His guttural triumphs are not the sort that normal people might relate too, but for those of us who find ascension in the almighty darkness of doom metal, this is what we need to hear. Johan Ericson speaks from the heart, rubbing a part of his soul onto yours, opening up in an extremely personal way and showing the eternal might of Swedish doom metal. So go out, purchase Earthless and turn it all the way up as you fall into pure doom metal oblivion.
Review
Ave Noctum
8.5/10
27.07.2014

Johan Ericson likes to keep himself busy, so when he is not doing his day job playing guitar for Draconian he has a number of other ways of keeping his creative side occupied. Alongside mixing and producing duties and session work with the likes of When Nothing Remains, he also has a number of personal pet projects, arguably the most famous of which is Doom:VS. Johan maintains total and complete creative control over Doom:VS in the best way possible, in that he does absolutely everything. Very bloody good he is at it too with the previous albums receiving universal praise, but it must be a difficult and painstaking task to manage every aspect of an album from start to finish. Without a great deal of honesty and self-editing it could spiral into a massive self-indulgent ego-trip, but Ericson clearly has his head screwed on straight, especially where Doom:VS is concerned.

Whilst the wait goes on for a new Draconian album, (although the rumour is the wait will be over early next year), Ericson has been using his time constructively. It may have been six years since the last album ‘Dead Words Speak’, but he has still been busy working on new material in that time whilst working on other projects. That works out as a new song a year for the wait we have had, so with a year to work on each one, you’d expect them to be honed to perfection. Ok, if not perfect then pretty damn near. The good news is that the songs are every bit as good as I expected, with one or two small reservations. The beauty in the lead melodies is complemented by the deliberate pacing and the abyssal depths of the vocals. The title track is an excellent case in point, with the structure initially sounding similar to the sort of material Draconian were putting out around the ‘Arcane Rain Fell’ era, but as the track progresses it develops into something far more elaborate and expansive, utilising a number of different styles to great effect.

The time taken to deliver the finished product is reflected in the songs, great care and attention to detail being evident and I get the impression that there is perhaps an OCD element to the way Ericson works. Minor touches in the arrangements of songs offer major enhancements as the deeper atmosphere brings the whole thing to life. If there is one problem with this album and indeed the other Doom:VS albums that came before it is that Ericson’s death vocal, as good as it is, changes so little in style and tone throughout that it becomes a bit of a burden. By the time you reach the latter stages of the album you may find yourself subconsciously trying to tune out the vocals and listen to this purely on a musical basis. It may well be a minor gripe, but it’s one that gets bigger the longer you listen.

Doom:VS as a project leans far heavier on his Draconian days than his other major project, the gothic rock based Shadowgarden, and it often makes you wonder what could have happened had Draconian not lightened their style. There is no light here though, and Johan Ericson has delivered another satisfyingly spirit crushing work. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait another six years for the next one.

Author: Lee Kimber
Review
The Pit of the Damned
8/10
26.08.2014

Sono passati parecchi anni da quando recensii 'Aeternum Vale', album di debutto di Johan Ericson e dei suoi Doom:Vs, side project dei doomsters svedesi Draconian. Era il 2006, e il polistrumentista scandinavo si proponeva di esplorare il lato più buio e straziato del proprio animo. Otto anni più tardi, eccoci qui a godere del terzo lavoro del poliedrico musicista, dal semplice ed esplicativo titolo 'Earthless', la perfetta colonna sonora atta a dipingere la natura mortale della condizione umana. Il mastermind nordico questa volta non percorre il suo cammino in solitario, ma è coadiuvato alle vocals da Thomas A.G., vocalist dei Saturnus. Mettete pertanto insieme il talento di due mostri sacri della scena doom malinconica e, fatto banalmente 2+2, otterrete un album di classe che certo non sprizzerà gioia dai suoi solchi, un lavoro all'insegna della disperazione più totale, narrato in sei lunghi pezzi, in cui il death doom di Johan tende in alcuni momenti a travalicare il confine del funeral. Il growling profondo e peculiare di Thomas, unito alle splendide melodie di Johan non possono che garantire un risultato complessivo impeccabile, che vede le sue punte di diamante nella deprimente "A Quietly Forming Collapse", song dalle ritmiche tanto flemmatiche quanto opprimenti, che vive di deliziosi squarci di onnipresente atrabile umor nero, affidato alla sei corde di Mr. Ericson. Inevitabili gli echi che si rifanno ai primissimi My Dying Bride (un must per i fan del genere) nelle linee di chitarra di "The Dead Swan of the Woods", cosi come il raro dualismo vocale tra la catacombale timbrica del bravo vocalist danese e i rari passaggi sussurrati del chitarrista svedese. Ma il mio pezzo preferito alla fine sarà "Oceans of Despair", song dalle movenze delicate, con una certa alternanza a livello vocale, tra growl, clean, sussurrato e urlato, ma sempre contraddistinta da commoventi linee di chitarra. Quella dei Doom:Vs continua ad essere musica emozionale, che vive di pause, scariche elettriche, attimi struggenti e crepuscolari, frangenti che si annidano toccanti il nostro io interiore, luci soffuse, tenebre, chiari e scuri, un moto che entra dentro e non ci lascia più. Ben tornati.

Author: Francesco Scarci
Review
Fobia Zine
8/10
26.08.2014


Určitě znáte ty chvilky mezi bděním a spánkem. Hlava vám padá do klína, svět se mění v roztodivný kolotoč nejrůznějších obrazů a během několika okamžiků nevíte, co je pravda a co výplod fantazie. Někdo má podobné stavy rád natolik, že si je musí neustále navozovat různými prostředky. Ano, znám lidi, kteří si vypěstovali závislost na snech. Plouží se mezi námi, se šílenými pohledy v těkajících očích. Smutní a usmívající se zároveň. Jejich ploužící se postavy čekající na to, až budou moct konečně spočinout ve věčnosti. Mám to někdy hodně podobné. Většinou k večeru, kdy už je doma klid. Vyhlédnu z okna a chvilku pozoruji pomalu umírající večerní město. Odevzdaně se přesunuji do pokoje a hledám desku, která by celou tuhle zasněnou atmosféru ještě víc umocnila. Po chvilce přehrabování volím švédského doom/deathaře Johana Ericsona (DRACONIAN, SHADOWGARDEN) a jeho kapelu DOOM:VS. Ten mi letos opět udělal radost a vydal v pořadí již třetí desku plnou dlouhých táhlých melodií, drsného šepotu, deathových momentů a snění.

Johan si obstaral veškeré nástroje i hlas sám. Je to jen a jen jeho projekt a i když bývám k podobným záležitostem poměrně skeptický (někdy mi chybí určitý zpětný pohled – poradní hlas někoho, kdo by muzikantovi mnohdy „poupravil“, případně zkrátil nebo prodloužil celou nahrávku), zde jsem byl ale chycen už kdysi dávno do pavučiny snů spolu s první deskou. Někdy je velmi příjemné se zastavit, sledovat svůj dech, tlukot srdce a jen se nechat ovívat chladnými melodiemi. Podobná muzika má tu výhodu, že ji můžete pouštět i jako kulisu svým přátelům, ženám i dětem, jejichž uši nejsou jinak na metal zrovna nastaveny. Vše zde drásá jen jemně, po dávkách, nikoho to nevystraší, spíše je tu příjemně smutně. Hudba mi připomíná zasněžené vrcholky hor, kde si vítr hraje svoji krutou hru a nikdo mu do toho nemluví. Do nebe ční jen pár pahýlovitých pozůstatků kdysi statných stromů. Je více než pravděpodobné, že zde, v klidu a nicotě, by vyzněla deska „Earthless“ určitě nejlépe.

DOOM:VS jsou esencí toho, co
nám v pravidelných intervalech dodávají kapely jako SATURNUS, MY DYING BRIDE, OCTOBER TIDE. Občas se neubráním lehkému dojmu, že některé nápady se prolínají také s podobnými, vytvořenými třeba takovými INSOMNIUM, RAPTURE nebo dokonce PRIMORDIAL. Je to ale spíše v určitých momentech způsobem uchopení a přístupem, než „přílišnou inspirací“. Hlavní motivy a nápady lze s klidem zahrnout spíše do klasického doom metalu. Někdy sice zazní určité „pokusy“ o progresi, ale jsou dávkovány velmi opatrně a s citem, takže vás určitě nevyplaší. Celá deska tak i přes svůj zdánlivý klid velmi vibruje, trhá a mačká vás. Mám chuť zpomalit svoje pohyby, pokusit se vzlétnout a jen se tak z nebe dívat na to vaše zmatené lidské snažení.

„Earthless“ bych klidně doporučil pilotům, kteří nemají zrovna svůj nejlepší den. Úplně před sebou vidím ty haldy neuspořádaně poskládaných mraků, bolavé slunce zářící do vesmíru i plující koráb věčnosti. Člověk si při podobné muzice uvědomí, jak malý, bezvýznamný a zároveň silný a mocný je tvor. Deska je stvořena pro odchod do země snů a stínů. Pomalá, jakoby vzdáleně znějící, smutná i drsná zároveň. Ano, jsem chycen, připíchnut jako noční můra špendlíkem na zeď a následně hozen se svázanýma rukama do vody. Nevím ani proč, ale vždy si vzpomenu na zrychlené záběry rostoucích rostlin, odkvétajících stromů. Něžné a drsné zároveň. Album, které je velmi podobné neklidným krásným ženám, marně hledajícím nějaký záchytný bod ve svém příjemném, ale prázdném životě. V dálce temně šumí moře a já nevím, jestli vůbec někdy jejich duše najdou svůj přístav a klid. Vítejte v říši snů hříšníci! Krásně smutná doomová plavba v řece zapomnění.

Author: Asphyx
Review
Femforgacs
9/10
26.08.2014

Kár lenne tagadnom, hogy az egyszemélyes formációk nyomon követésére nagyobb hangsúlyt fektetek, mint a klasszikus zenekarokéra. Ez több okból eredeztethető. Egyrészt amikor például az iskolában tesióra volt, mindig az egyéni sportokat választottam, sosem álltam be focizni, inkább elmentünk tengózni a hozzám hasonlókkal. A személyes kitérőért elnézést, következzen a valódi ok: az egyszemélyes zenekarokban egy ember érzéseit élhetem át, biztos lehetek benne, hogy nem volt a témák megalkotása közben próbatermi háború, illetve nem kell azon töprengjek, hogy a csapat mely tagja a domináns, és kik a kiszolgálószemélyzet. Emellett az sem elhanyagolható, hogy egy szólóproject élőben nem működhet (esetleg vendégzenészekkel), így a misztikum ködébe burkolózva alkot az entitás, a zene van előtérben, nem az exibicionizmus. Vagy legalább is az exibicionizmus azon formája, amit egészségesnek tartok, ha zenéről van szó.
A Doom:VS Johan Ericson egyszemélyes utazása. A Draconianból ismerhetik egyesek az urat, annak a társaságnak az alapító tagja. Azon bandát nem követtem nyomon, így nincs összehasonlítási alapom...

Jelen projectben nem születnek új képletek, nincs forradalmi hangulat, szimplán csak azt veszem észre, hogy a szerző nagyon érzi az egységet, a hangszerek bámulatosan támasztják egymást, és a hangsúlyt az összhangzatra teszi. Az egyszerűsége megható, ahogyan a hangulata is. A funeral doom talán az egyik legkevésbé variálható műfaj, mivel ha variáljuk, akkor már önkéntelenül hozzá kell tegyünk valami egyéb előtagot a kategóriához. Ericson azonban megtekeri a dolgot, mert nem lép ki a kategóriai korlátok mögül, egyszerűen csak hihetetlen érzékkel kavarja a kondért, nagyszerű időérzékkel adagolja a témákat ahhoz, hogy a végeredmény egy olyan sablon étel legyen, amit egyszerűen nem lehet nem szeretni. Természetesen a szakácsművészete célzott, egy adott körnek készül a táp. Mikor úgy érezném, hogy ááá... nem is olyan izgalmas ez, máris belép valami ámulatba ejtő téma, ami ismétlem, nem a rendhagyóságával kábít, csak egyszerűen nagyon jó hallgatni. Az egész lemez emelkedett az elejétől a végéig. Talán az ének az, amin lehetett volna még töprengeni, mivel túl sok változatosságot nem ad ez a hörgés.
Ezt a Saturnus torok Thomas Akim Grønbæk Jensen prezentálja, így sérül egy kicsit az egyszemélyes hadsereg státusz...
Azért annyira nem zavaró a vokális megoldások egyhangúsága, mivel helyette a zene hömpölyög, hol melegen és szépen, hol bizarr mód gonoszul. Meg a Oceans of Despair című tételben hallunk dallamokat is. Szerintem szerencsésebb lett volna hamarabb elsütni ezt az eszközt.

Egy dolog nem nagyon van a Doom:VS zenéjében: disszonancia. Ezt nem hiányként éljük viszont meg, hanem puszta tényként. Teljesen harmonikus a rendszer, még a bizarrságában is szabályos. Tanult zenészre jellemző komponálást hallani, ami szabályosságával egy kicsit unalmas is tud lenni, de ez jellemző a Solitude kiadványokra alapból. Viszont ugyanígy jellemző a ruszki kiadóra az igényesség is. A megszólalás tökéletes, szinte már túl jó, és a kiadvány külső megjelenésébe sem tudnék belekötni.
A Hangpróbán már szerepelt ez az anyag, és akkor nagyon funeral doomster hangulatomban lehettem, mert majdnem tízet adtam rá, most viszont valamelyest csökkent az ingerem erre a zenére, így egy barátságos kilencesben megállapodnék magammal... Aki kezdő funeral doom hallgató (szinte még én is), azoknak viszont tudom ajánlani, mivel pont azokkal az elemekkel ismerteti össze az embert, amik a műfaj leginkább jellegzetes vonásai.

Author: Nagaarum
Review
Darkview
8.5/10
22.08.2014

It’s no secret that Draconian’s lead guitarist, Johan Ericson, is a huge fan of Kim Larssen and of his former band Saturnus.

This is not only apparent in his main band, but even more so in his solo project, Doom:VS. For his third album ‘Earthless, he’s even managed to get Thomas Jensen, Saturnus’s long time vocalist, to provide his characteristic growls on every song. The likeness in composition is uncanny. In fact, you could probably fool any fan of the Danish doomsters that they’re actually listening to the follow up to ‘Saturn in Ascension’ and leave no one disappointed. Such is the quality of these six songs. You could argue that very little of Ericsson’s own identity shines through, but for a record as good as ‘Earthless’, I gladly forgive and recommend this piece of unadulterated hero worship.

Author: Samoth
Review
Doom-Metal.com
7.5/10
17.08.2014

Last time we had to wait six years for a new Saturnus release. The wait is considerably shorter this time, however: only two years after 2012’s Saturn in Ascension, their new album Earthless is now out on Solitude Productions, featuring six long songs similar in style to the previous record. Fans of the long-standing Danish band will recognise their trademark melodic lead guitars, laid-back rhythms and overall doomy, yet pleasant feel right away and feel comfortable enough with the new compositions – they offer no experiments or surprises, but no major disappointments, either. The only thing that might bother some is the absence of the traditional acoustic track and the reduced amount of calm interludes. Some sections are slightly more pounding than usual, and both the third and fourth track start with an unusually dark and crushing riff which can be seen as a vague sign of evolution if we are generous. Finally, Johan Ericson contributed some solid clean guest vocals to the last two songs which work well within the context (the vocal melody on “Oceans of Despair” particularly sticks out). Other than that, though, little can be said about this album. It offers Melodic Death Doom which, unfortunately, is absolutely predictable both in style and structure.

How can I deal with a release from such a big name (by Doom standards) in just a single paragraph, you ask, especially considering my tendency to write long reviews? Hold on a second, something isn’t right here! Let me start again.

Have you ever heard of Doom:VS? If so, have you actually listened to the music, or did the strange name put you off? Doom:VS is the solo project of Johan Ericson, the guitarist and main songwriter in Draconian, and he has made quite a name for himself: his two full-length albums under this moniker, albeit fairly unimaginative, were mostly well-received due to his good songwriting abilities. But his project has never had much of a distinct identity of its own (nor does he seem to have had such aspirations to begin with), relying on the tried formula of Melodic Death Doom and steering clear of adventurous ideas. As you may have guessed from the opening paragraph, though, on Earthless he has given up every last ounce of individuality. Instead, he chose to bluntly copy what seems to be his great idol, Saturnus, even inviting Thomas A.G. Jensen to record the main vocals.

And it is almost frightening how well Ericson succeeds in imitating the sound of their later releases: if somebody had played the album to me and presented it as the new Saturnus, not a single doubt would have entered my mind. Even Ericson’s own clean voice has been reduced to the two short aforementioned appearances – quite a radical step considering that they were used very regularly on his previous output, Dead Words Speak (which, funnily enough, was released six years ago – sound familiar?). The slightly more apocalyptic undertones of some of his earlier compositions only reappear here in the form of the two opening riffs, also mentioned above. None of the remaining riffs and lead guitar lines would have felt out of place at all on a Saturnus album, and even the song structures (if somewhat more simplistic) are hardly any different, especially with Jensen’s vocals following the dynamics. In short, Earthless is a textbook example of plagiarism of the highest calibre, and it seems almost ironic that Jensen actually participated in it, which seems to suggest that he does not mind. On top of it all, this development is likely to disappoint those Doom:VS fans who were expecting the project to continue in a similar vein to the earlier releases.

So why am I still giving this album a fairly high rating? Simple: it is a cool would-be Saturnus album! The production is crisp and heavy, the atmosphere works perfectly and the songs are well thought-out. Songwriting-wise, I actually find this material much more compelling than anything on the earlier Doom:VS releases, and the songs benefit from the absence of the clean voice which has always been a disputable factor at best, though some may value it nonetheless. The guitar arrangements in particular are definitely more memorable than those Ericson has previously composed for this project. It is almost paradoxical that despite this, the album as a whole, on the other hand, is still quite forgettable: it lacks any and all features that stand out, where Saturnus at least employ their acoustic moments to great effect and Draconian (whose lead guitars also borrow a lot from the Danes) employ more interesting contrasts and vocal arrangements. Even the artwork looks like something we have seen a million times before, and the lyrics, too, littered as they are with unnecessary grammatical mistakes, are completely by-the-book: “My hands soaked with blood / from the burial of my heart”. How about a handkerchief? Everything about Earthless feels constructed: it is Doom for the sake of being Doom and not because of a need to express something that cannot be conveyed by other stylistic means. In short, nobody really needs this album, but many will enjoy it nonetheless. If you cannot get enough of this particular branch of Doom and can forgive the plagiarism, you will not regret giving it a listen. “A Quietly Forming Collapse”, to me, is the clear highlight, followed by the mellower “Oceans of Despair”.

Author: Dominik Sonders
Review
Funeral Wedding
5/5

Há muito tempo esperei por esse lançamento e posso garantir que cada segundo de espera valeu a pena.

O Doom:VS conseguiu criar uma identidade para o seu som, e ao ouvir os primeiros acordes, você já reconhece a banda que está executando o som. E isso já vem desde os tempos de sua demo Empire of the Fallen, que coincidentemente completa 10 anos de seu lançamento.

Lembro que foi anunciada a participação de Thomas A.G. do grandioso Saturnus, e assim como seus outros lançamentos, pensei que seria apenas uma pequena participação. A surpresa maior foi saber que o cidadão citado, canta apenas no álbum todo e o resultado foi muito satisfatório.

O álbum abre com “Earthless” e para mim não haveria abertura melhor para o disco. Riffs soturnos, andamento arrastado e o toque especial para as linhas de vocal saturnianas de Thomas. Passando paraque segue na mesma pegada e a cada minuto passado, o álbum vai se tornando mais intimista.

Chega a vez de “White Coffins” e para mim, essa é uma das melhores faixas já compostas por Johan Ericson, pois ela meio que reflete tudo aquilo que já foi construído nesses 10 anos desse projeto. O riff principal me levou lá para o início da banda da época da já citada demo/Aeternum Vale e ainda assim, mantém uma sonoridade atual do decorrente álbum.

“The Dead Swan of the Woods” mantém aquela levada dos primeiros álbuns do Doom:VS, sem soar datado e sua melodia depressiva serve como uma prévia para as duas próximas músicas. “Ocean of Despair” mal inicia seus acordes e você sente a atmosfera ao seu redor se transformando, se tornando muito mais pesada que o usual. Passado os primeiros minutos de toda aquela morosidade, eis que para meu espanto, surge um vocal diferente do que estava acontecendo até então no álbum. Na hora pensei que fosse mais uma participação especial e ninguém menos que Patrick Walker (40 Watt Sun / ex-Warning), e cheguei a indagar o Johan sobre esse vocal, mas ele falou que era apenas ele mesmo cantando.

E para encerrar essa depressão sonora com pouco menos de 1 hora de duração a derradeira “The Slow Ascent”, e se o estrago causado ao ouvinte no decorrer do álbum já era grande, nessa faixa que ele vai juntar os pedaços que restaram de seu corpo mutilado.

Fica uma dica para o depressivo ouvinte, para sua segurança, esconda os objetos cortantes quando for ouvir esse álbum.
Review
Terra Relicta
8.5/10
07.08.2014

Johan Ericson is back with his project Doom:VS, rejoice lovers of all things doom! It's not a secret that the new album from this multi talented musician and producer, known mostly because beign a part of gothic/doom band Draconian, was one of the most anticipated releases in the doom scene this year. You must know that it passed six years since the release of grandiose album, Dead Words Speak, considered by many as a true masterpiece of the genre. Now, there's even more bleakness, melody, crushing riffs and rich atmosphere than before. Six tracks on Earthless are nothing but an obscure ride into the most dreadful, yet sinister and provocative places your imaginatin can invoke. All the pieces form an unity that must be consumed in your most solitary moments to get a proper effect.Taking a step further from the previous album, Dead Words Speak, leaving behind the funeral doom sound almost completely, this new release holds an imense power and kind of unpretentious dynamics. Maybe it wouldn't be unfair to say that at some point it sounds just like a mix between Draconian and later Saturnus (note that Thomas A.G. Nielsen is responsible for the growls on this record), but the point is in how it's executed. Slow paced melodic guitar layers, some nice crescendos, simply great leads, overtaken by guttural vocals, some clean singing and those typical spoken parts that form such a dramatic experience that must be necessary to make a doom release bereable also for those not really devoted into the genre. Doom:VS with Earthless actually combine the most melancholic gothic metal with doom and death metal, nothing really that new, but once you hear those lush melodies and dense melancholic atmospheres you must be left breathless.Earthless gets its peak in soul consuming melancholic masterpiece "Oceans Of Despair", where melodious and bleak driving guitars, at some point have even a bit of similarity with early Paradise Lost, and brutal vocals that twice get intertwined with a memorable clean singing refrain must retrieve the incurable sadness that was hidden deep inside of each one who sees the world damaged as it really is. Heavy drum kicks are giving the necessary callousness to complete the picture thus showing how helpless we are by punishing with each hit. There are still a lot of things left to discover in those six epic tracks if you just dare to give it a chance to be overtaken by this dark sonic emotional cataclysm. In top of all that the album comes with a very well done eerie artwork and production that gives even more depth to the whole thing. Yes, Johan Ericson plus Thomas A.G. Nielsen is a winning combination, maybe it will be for somebody too much similar in atmosphere to Saturnus's last album Saturn In Ascension mixed with Draconian's Turning Season Within, but nevertheless, believe me, is much more than just that.So the only question after this experience remains: "How far can my voice reach? Beyond the stars? Will dusk bring hope or devour me?"

Author: T.V.
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