Shape of Despair

Depressed Mode – Decade of Silence Review

Depressed Mode – Decade of Silence Review

“When I first saw the name, “Depressed Mode,” I assumed it was an homage to synth-rock icons, Depeche Mode. Nope. Turns out, these Fins are being literal. That’s their thing. Even their album names are literal. Decade of Silence is the third album after 2009’s For Death and follows a decade(ish) of… er… silence. Depressed Mode plays symphonic doom in the vein of… well… it’s complicated.” Silence is deadening.

Freja – Tides Review

Freja – Tides Review

“I’m a simple creature, really. If you make your album even vaguely Nordic-themed, I’ll pay attention. The mythologies that have spawned countless legends, a whole lot of music, and many other artistic expressions are so enduringly popular for a reason, and their themes have similarly lent themselves to some really good metal. Freja is among the newest bands to find influence in this striking topic, a Dutch duo of one C. and W., who describe their style as one of “towering, thundering” atmospheric black metal.” The tides are a raider.

Clouds – Despărțire Review

Clouds – Despărțire Review

“You could hardly find a more autumnally appropriate band than Clouds. Their name not only describes the most prevalent meteorological phenomenon of the season, their past catalog, and a band roster filled with members from legendary Funeral, Saturnus, and Shape of Despair has established them as a master of atmospheric doom.” Sure, it’s winter. And yes, this record dropped in October. Did you miss it?

Counting Hours – The Will [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Counting Hours – The Will [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Longtime members of the AMG metal intelligentsia are likely aware I enjoy me some melancholy melodeath and downbeat mope-core. Said intelligentsia may also have noticed I tend to namedrop long-defunct Finnish melodeath act Rapture rather frequently. That’s because I really loved their sound and truly miss them since they called it a day after releasing the excellently bleak Silent Stage way back in 2005. Over the years various bands helped fill the hole left in my wretched soul, but no one could truly replace Rapture. Finland’s Counting Hours may have come as close as inhumanly possibly though with their debut The Will.” Inherit the sadness.

Rise to the Sky – Death Will Not Keep Us Apart

Rise to the Sky – Death Will Not Keep Us Apart

“It was a warm day in June when I first came across the Chilean one-man doom project that is Rise to the Sky. In the Grave of a Forgotten Soul piqued my interest enough that when I learned that they’d been signed to GS Productions and had a full-length coming out later this year, I immediately set up a fiendish trap in the Promo Pit to ensure that I would be the only one to reach that record alive. At last, here it is.” Rise to die.

Chalice of Suffering – Lost Eternally Review

Chalice of Suffering – Lost Eternally Review

“Grief can seemingly last forever. Whether you’re actively working through it or just passively experiencing its various stages, grief is a marathon, not a sprint. Excitement, on the other hand, is always fleeting. Moments of joy, fright or rage flare up and burn out quickly. Excitement is not a state that can be sustained for long. Grief, sorrow, despondency, these can last indefinitely. There’s a reason grindcore albums never break 30 minutes while funeral doom albums stretch well past an hour. If it takes time to experience, it will take time to express. But listening to the genre at its best isn’t about being patient, as if there’s some reward at the end. It’s more about allowing yourself to be borne along by the slow process. Minneapolis, Minnesota’s Chalice of Suffering—612, represent—is here to take you on a long journey through the deepest despair.” Playing the long winter game.

Abyssic – High the Memory Review

Abyssic – High the Memory Review

“Metal, as a rule, is an exercise in excess. Of the ‘popular’ musical styles, it’s the loudest, the heaviest, the angriest, the most extreme. Thematically, topics of death and darkness are presented with superlative hyperbole. For non-fans, it’s all about as subtle as a volcanic explosion. We, of course, know better. Within each metal sub-genre, bands fall on a relative spectrum ranging from ‘tastefully restrained’ to ‘over-indulgent like, whoa.’ But what does the latter look like when the sub-genre is already known for being the -est? Say, funeral doom? It looks something like Norway-based Abyssic‘s second full-length, High the Memory.” The duck confit of doom.

Maestus – Deliquesce Review

Maestus – Deliquesce Review

“Funeral doom is the cilantro of the metal world. Those who like it tend to love it. Others wonder why anyone would want to eat a little leaf that tastes like soap listen to a twenty-minute song with four beats per minute. On the occasions it’s reviewed here, there are usually a few predictable cries from the peanut gallery of “Only listened to 30 seconds! Why this boring? Me want fast!” That’s right. I made you sound like Cookie Monster.” C is for Cookie and it’s better than you deserve.

Obseqvies – The Hours of My Wake Review

Obseqvies – The Hours of My Wake Review

“I’ve branched out quite a bit over the years in my time with Angry Metal Guy & Affiliates, LLC., and over the years, you notice a bit of bleed-through when it comes to discovering new bands. Many are trying to push boundaries as hard and as far as humanly possible in hopes to get noticed by music reviewers such as myself. Others hope that by emulating a well-proven and time-tested sound but with as much conviction as possible, they can win us over by virtue of hooks, clever melodies, and just straight-up heart and soul. What the fuck am I getting at, you may ask? The latter is the path of the day here, as Finnish funeral doombearers Obseqvies hope to draw my eye (of solitude) with their debut album, The Hours of My Wake. With three songs at almost an hour in length, did they succeed?” Time, taking its toll on you.