Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Album Review - The Sanctum of Human Darkness by Desolate Shrine

As you all may know, Finland is a nest for creative bands of any style and Desolate Shrine is just another one that leaves us in awe.

Hailing from the capital, Helsinki, this sophomore release presents us with a strange blend of traditional death metal and funeral doom metal, all at the same time. They manage to merge the styles together as the melodies go on and not in distinctive parts.
Slightly different from the first album, the songs on this one are lengthier, doom-ish, foreboding, and lugubrious.

I could say it’s very similar to a traditional DBM band, but that’s not entire true, since their sound really deals with heavy chunks riffage, and ultra muscular drum beats, which makes this album the ultimate “kill your fucking self” title.

The heavy rifferama and this strange concoction of trad death and funeral are reminiscent of Scandinavian death metal like Entombed, Dismember and the funeral Finnish bands (I can’t assert it is their true influence, but if it’s not, it’s a strong coincidence) like Thergothon, Skepticism and similar acts.

The guttural roars in the style of good ol’ L-G Petrov are just a testament to the whole: darkest, ominous and baleful, they will haunt you for the nights to come. The band use two vocalists though: RS (aka Roni Sahari from Lie in Ruins) and ML (aka Hellwind Inferion, the former vocalist of mega cult from Finland, Enochian Crescent and the current drummer of the one of the best bands in the country today: Urn). All the instruments are played by a mysterious guy called LL who is also responsible for the artwork, only attesting that this buddy is a gifted artist.

Talking about the songs themselves, Funeral Chamber is utterly gloomy like a Left Hand Path in slow motion. 8 minutes of agonizing music.

But the The Sanctum of Human Darkness is not about snail paced music as it’s proven in the fast Lair of Wolf & 1000 Lions.

Old Man’s visit is an odd intermezzo while Chalice of Flesh and Bone gloriously returns to the initial proposal of the disc.

The way they play, the configuration of the members, the influences inside the band, all add heaps to the original sound of Desolate Shrine. They do not mean to be “avant-garde” or experimental, they wisely use death metal and some doom/funeral as the base of their sound. It’s not just the influences or the intentions that count. It’s how you manage to put it in the album. That’s the difference between the artist and the grassroots musician and let me say: rank and file they are not. This is a special band for special ears.

Release Date - December 15th, 2012

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Line Up
L.L. - All instruments 
M.L. - Vocals 
R.S. - Vocals

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