Original Portuguese version here: http://heavenisnottoofar.webs.com/reviewwod.htm
» I’ve learnt a new term with WOODS OF DESOLATION: DSBM – depressive suicidal black metal. That this Australian band doesn’t play “traditional” black metal is something we realise in the first seconds of the very first track (which the album was named after, by the way): the guitars (bass included) produce such a melody, too melancholic for that genre. And so they go on throughout the whole song, in contrast to the high-pitch vocals and fast drums, both typically black. The lyrical themes also differ from the usual Satanism, politics and/or philosophy.
Sadness, pessimism, loneliness… “depressive” is a literal adjective. But “suicidal”, I was told, is in a figurative sense – not the end of a life but of feelings, so the listener can experience a serene introspection. I must admit that albuns like these are the perfect soundtrack for that voyage to our core.
Personally, I like little details, and the acoustic chords in the beginning of “Darker Days” won brownie points. The tempo of the guitars is much faster than in the previous track and the screaming is backed-up by a second voice, pleasantly clean, which once in a while assumes the leading role.
“An Unbroken Moment” is probably the most aggressive song, even with the 1-minute long “zen break” where we can hear what I believe being a cello (maybe digitally generated).
“The Inevitable End” restores all the melancholy of the opening theme, perhaps more emphasized by its longer duration (9 minutes and 10 seconds) and the fact that the drums are slightly weaker, although still powerful.
To “compensate”, a short song follows, completely instrumental. Only an acoustic guitar during the first half, until the drums enter gradually and, at that same pace, the acoustic fades, being replaced by the electric. The riffs have the same tone as the rest of the album, so the song isn’t out of place. However, if we listened to “November” out of the “Torn Beyond Reason” context, black metal would probably be the last genre one could associate to it, even in its depressive suicidal variation.
In the end, “Somehow…”, in the same line as “Torn Beyond Reason” and “The Inevitable End”, but where Tim Yatras overlay once again a clean voice, as in “Darker Days”. But the essence sticks to the whining of the guitars, the rage of the drums and the despair of the screams.
Although somewhat repetitive, this formula is convincing enough. «
Label: Northern Silence
- Torn Beyond Reason
- Darker Days
- An Unbroken Moment
- The Inevitable End