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domenica 10 maggio 2015

Shallow Rivers - The Leaden Ghost

#FOR FANS OF: Doom/Death, Encoffination, Hooded Menace
The massive second album from Russian Doom/Death act is quite a challenging listen, but one that’s more based on the extreme length of its material than anything else of real importance or detriment to the album. Weaving gorgeous guitar-work and blazing melodic leads here that leave an impressive atmosphere of far lighter fare than the traditional features of the genre who go for darker, much more oppressive styles of atmospheric riff-work which does manage to get a lot of impressive works here. While there’s still the ever-prevalent melodies and atmospheric wandering that are placed in here, the fact is this one instead opts for the droning, melancholic atmospheric that’s quite more motivated in other sections to mesh with pulverizing guitar rhythms, churning riff-work and plenty of energetic work here that keeps the tempo far more engaging here than would normally be the case as this one becomes far more enjoyable as it goes along. Intro ‘Of Silent Winds that Whistle Death’ slowly winds away from droning riff-work and bland melodies for a rather impressive series of darkened riffing, pounding drumming and quite explosive energy throughout the running time which manages to continue on through the extreme rhythms, dynamic variation and tempo changes and the influx of twisted riff-work that makes for a solid, engaging opener. Likewise, ‘Light Upon Us, Haze Around Us’ opts for the eerie atmospheric droning intro before settling for a churning mid-tempo romp through deep, dynamic patterns, plenty of dynamic drumming and the sort of melancholic atmosphere early on not really utilized in a lot of Death Metal before unleashing the maelstrom in the later half with pulverizing double-bass blasts, frantic melodic sweeps and the sweeping aggression found there to make for a more stand-out track that really plays well with its’ epic length. Dialing back on the length, ‘Scorched, Wrecked, Torn, then Crumbled to the Sea’ still offers crushing riff-work and blasting drumming weaving through complex arrangements, blasting tempos and utterly frantic sweeping patterns that carry on the same frantic energy and dynamic rhythms that the longer tracks offered which makes for back-to-back highlights. While ‘We are Cold’ switches it up to a generally enjoyable repetitious riff played around dynamic drumming blasts and effective atmospheric influxes, the shortened length comes off as though from a different band compared to the much more engaging epics elsewhere here. ‘Snow’ feels more traditional with swirling riff-work and dynamic tempos that it really feels like a condensed version of their longer epics and is quite enjoyable with its churning riffing, atmospheric leads and pounding drumming carrying this one through. Finally, the title track goes back to the epic-ness of the rest of the material with blazing riff-work, churning melodies and atmospheric leads that let the heavy rhythms, dynamic drumming and darker works come through quite nicely here which is what makes this one so much more enjoyable and exciting by ending on another strong note. Overall, this was quite an impressive effort and really only struggles with the length of its songs for the most part. (Don Anelli)

(BadMoonMan Music - 2015)
Score: 85