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.

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Review: Mordor – Darkness…

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Label: Pagan Records

It’s been a long time since Polish band Mordor last released anything – 21 years, in fact. The band originally disbanded in 2000, but reunited in 2014 and have now unleashed new album Darkness… upon the world. Given the differences between previous albums Prayer To… and The Earth, fans might be unsure what to expect from Darkness… Perhaps surprisingly, the new album is the one that has the greatest sense of character and confidence, recalling their early death/doom roots whilst also adding hints of black metal to the mix. It’s an atmospheric, captivating record, and a very welcome return for this veteran band.

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Album of the Day: Ataraxy – Where All Hope Fades

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Label: Dark Descent Records

It is tempting to describe Where All Hope Fades by Ataraxy as death-doom, given that it features multiple slow, oppressive passages, filled with emotion and a sense of despair. Yet to do so wouldn’t be entirely accurate. For all its crushing sense of devastation and desolate atmospheres, Where All Hope Fades is too energetic to fit in neatly with death-doom, with as many moments of up-tempo, vigorous exertion as it has despairing movements. Yet more than this, what makes Where All Hope Fades avoid the academic discussion over genres is its simple quality. This is an album of excellent death metal, that switches mood and style with ease.

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Album of the Day: My Dying Bride – Turn Loose the Swans

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Label: Peaceville Records

I know it wasn’t that long ago that I named an album by My Dying Bride as an album of the day, but that I do so again so quickly should say a lot about how highly I regard this band, and this album. Turn Loose the Swans is an album of infinite sorrow and grace, its sense of drama matched only by the quality of the music contained within. Grandiose to the point of self-parody, it succeeds simply because the songs themselves are so good, and played with such conviction, that to protest about the album’s weaknesses is to miss the point of it completely.

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Album of the Day: Esoteric – Esoteric Emotions – The Death of Ignorance

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Label: Aesthetic Death (CD) / Self-released (digital)

It’s great when a band and label recognise that there’s a hunger for their early, out-of-print work. Such is the case with the original demo by extreme funeral doom band EsotericEsoteric Emotions – The Death of Ignorance. Seeing the high prices it was fetching online, and the increasingly poor quality of copies available, the decision was taken to give the demo the reissue and remastering treatment it deserved. Available as a special edition CD, Esoteric Emotions is a work of colossal misery, heavy both musically and emotionally, and has stood the test of time well.

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Album of the Day: Thorr’s Hammer – Dommedagsnatt

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Label: Moribund Records / Southern Lord Recordings

Not to be confused with a similarly-named Polish NSBM band, Thorr’s Hammer are an important part of modern doom and drone metal history. Though they were initially only active for six weeks – playing two gigs and recording a demo and the Dommedagsnatt EP, before disbanding when vocalist Runhild Grammelsæter returned to Norway – it was from this band that the seeds of future collaborations between Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson were sewn. And I’m sure we all know how important a duo they are to modern heaviness. Yet Dommedagsnatt is noteworthy beyond its status as an historical artifact – this EP is filled with crushing death-doom that still holds up today.

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Album of the Day: My Dying Bride – Feel The Misery

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Label: Peaceville Records

As time goes by, bands will inevitably have highs and lows; and as bands go on for ten, twenty, thirty years, there will be peaks and troughs of quality – no one stays brilliant forever, if they reach such heights at all. My Dying Bride have never released a thoroughly bad album (we’re excluding the experimental Evinta from this judgement), yet their considerable discography contains variable quality. The highs are among the best of the genre, with Turn Loose The Swans and The Dreadful Hours being genre-defining records. Feel The Misery, their latest album from 2015, is another one of My Dying Bride’s high-points, and as good as summation of their sound as any.

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