Ghosts of Devotion
6/25/2008 - Review by: David Loveless
Lately, one of my favorite genres of metal has been Funeral Doom. With titanic albums such as Ahab's--The Call of the Wretched Sea and Evoken's--Antithesis of Light crushing the competition, there is a high demand for more devastating bands to carry the torch of this epic brand of metal. One of the leading torch-bearers is Finland's Depressed Mode - the brainchild of Ossy Salonen. Mixing beautiful piano & keyboard orchestrations with brutal doom metal, Depressed Mode is ready to claim the throne on the Funeral Doom scene with their debut album, Ghosts of Devotion.
The first song, Alone, starts off with a haunting piano melody and then quickly abrupts into some of the heaviest doom you will probably hear this year. With riffs that sound like they came from a classic Death album (i.e. Scream Bloody Gore or Leprosy), and whispering (but dreadful) vocals that remind me of Hecate Enthroned, Alone sets the tempo for the rest of this crushing album. The next song, So Long, again starts off with a quiet piano piece before taking a back seat to some ultra slow doom riffs. Mixing both harsh vocals and female vocals, Depressed Mode shows their unique ability to be both beautiful and brutal at the same time. Next comes Words of Silence. Although this song has a more melodic riff, it is still pummeling, yet depressive at the same time. With a piano part that sounds like it belongs in a horror film, Depressed Mode pulls no punches in delivering their terrifying message. The next song, Suffer in Darkness, is a slightly faster piece that will leave you feeling eerily defeated and miserable. The title track, Ghosts of Devotion starts off with an atmospheric intro, followed by a slow drum beat that sets the pace for the next 6 minutes. With minimal guitars used throughout the track, the grimness of the vocals stand out to give the listener another level of evil pleasure. Following Ghosts is The Sun is Dead, a faster song with a grim piano intro followed by a sick guitar riff and double bass drumming - something rarely used in this genre. The next song, Fallen Angel, starts off with a beautiful piano intro and female vocals and slowly fades into a melodic doom tune. The next song, Dunkelheit, is a Burzum cover song (taken from the Filosofem album) that pays homage to one of the bands that pioneered the classic Black Metal sound - the mighty Burzum. Depressed Mode's awesome interpretation of this classic song fits right in with the rest of the album. The final song on the CD, Cold, sounds exactly like what the title says - "cold". Nothing new here, just depressive funeral doom mixed with dirge-like piano parts to complete this doomed journey.
Funeral Doom Metal is an acquired taste and I would not recommend it to just anyone that is getting into the metal scene. It takes time to enjoy and understand the pain and pleasure that comes from doom metal. However, if I were to recommend some start-up albums for a brave new listener, Depressed Modes' Ghosts of Devotion would probably rank among my top five picks. Get this album now, and prepare to dig your own grave!
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