Review: Petrichor – No Silver Lining: A Return to Rain

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Label: Self-released

It’s been a few years since the release of Rain in 2016, and a few things have changed in that time with Petrichor. The Yorkshire-based doom band are now closing one chapter and starting another, and to mark this change are releasing No Silver Lining: A Return to Rain. As the title suggests, No Silver Lining is something of a revised version of the original Rain album, featuring one new track and re-worked versions of four songs from the original. It’s a brave, bold move – and one the band admit they will make no money from – and is not only a fine companion piece to Rain, but also a strong record in its own right that bodes well for the future of the band.

No Silver Lining opens with the new song, ‘This Too Must Die’, that – slightly confusingly – shares a new with a song from the original Rain. This is an entirely new piece though, and is the most progressively-minded (and prog-influenced) song the band have recorded. Drenched in gothic melodrama, with guest vocals from Vickie Harley (of progressive symphonic metal band Pallas Athena). Whilst Rain was an album of classic funeral and death-doom, this new song goes in to very different territories. It’s slightly shocking at first, but once the initial surprise wears off, it reveals itself to be a strong song, densely layered and with a lot of thought gone in to its construction, with real emotional impact with its tale of doomed love and self-sabotage.

From there, No Silver Lining moves on to the revised versions of old songs. Rain opener ‘Drown the World’ is presented here in a trimmed-down format (7:29 rather than 9:26), and feels better for it. Its funeral and death-doom feels stronger than before, with subtle changes having a big impact; and the move into black metal-influenced sections in the later half feels smoother and more natural than before. Additionally, Jon’s vocals stand out as being much stronger than on Rain – an obvious debt is still clearly owed to Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride), but more of his own character is coming to the fore now, especially on the clean vocals, where some of his high notes reach Bruce Dickinson-style heights.

Small changes having large impacts is very much the story of No Silver Lining. Each of the re-worked songs is clearly descended from the original versions, but each one has been changed and reworked for the better. This is especially so for ‘We Are The Fire’, which really soars as a celebration of paganism and anti-Christian fervor; and closer ‘Nihilist’, bulked out into almost 16 minutes of miserable – yet hugely cathartic – funeral doom. More than anything, the multitude of small changes has made No Silver Lining feel like a much more complete album than Rain was; that recording hardly felt lacking, but No Silver Lining feels much more definitive and confident.

As such, the future of Petrichor is looking brighter than before (if such a thing can be said for a doom band, that is!). The band are preparing a new album with an intended release date of next year, and if No Silver Lining is anything to go by, it will be an absolute behemoth of underground doom. This is the sound of a band who are really coming into their own, and who feel like they have something to offer (a fact underlined by the fact that No Silver Lining will be sent for free to current owners of Rain). It feels odd to say this about a funeral doom band, but the future feels optimistic for Petrichor.

No Silver Lining is due for release on 25 May 2018 via Bandcamp. A free download will be sent to owners of Rain who purchased said album before this date, and can be purchased separately. It will be available for streaming later in the year.

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