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Officium Triste : The Pathway

I have to admit that when I first heard this album, I was not impressed at all. Mediocre death/doom in the vein of Novembers Doom or early The Gathering ('Always' era) with slightly silly lyrics. I thought this was one of those albums I would perhaps listen to once or twice and then forget about. How wrong I was...

To my own surprise this album grew on me really quickly. The slightly muffled sound of the first few spins opened up wonderfully melodic death-doom early 90ties style. No overly fancy keyboard parts or female vocals, just good old Death/Doom. Officium Triste relies on the solid foundation of drums, bass and guitars to write songs and does not cover anything up by using novelties. Of course Officum Triste isn't totally free from such elements, they do use a good amount of keys but it is not forced upon the listener. You never have the feeling that the band just used keys for the sake of using them.

On 'The Pathway' OT. sounds like a 90ties band stuck in time. Which, if you ask me, is a compliment. As such I believe fans of early Anathema or My Dying Bride will probably like this album. However, don't expect a clone in anyway. Officium Triste does not imitate. It's like you've discovered an album from that era that you've so far overlooked, another innovative early 90ties band, one with a slightly more modern feel.

'The Pathway' does have two downsides; the lyrics and the "clean vocals". I'm hesitating to say it, but the lyrics are in my eyes downright silly. They deal with going into hiding and being stalked. They aren't horribly - Tiamat like - silly, but they just seem out of context. Also it really takes some time to get used to Pim's clean vocals. Luckily he has a strong grunt and uses it most of the album!

This entire album really surprised me. I had not expected it to be so good. I'd recommend it to anybody into heavy slow grinding guitars, muffled grunts/spoken word and atmospheric keys, but newbies would be better of checking the big names first. Shamefully the last track on my promo copy is damaged but I am presuming it is of the same quality as the rest.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Roses on my Grave
2. Pathway (of Broken Glass)
3. Foul Play
4. Camouflage
5. Divinity
6. Deep Down
7. This is Goodbye

Duration : Approx. 60 minutes

Visit the Officium Triste bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Aldo Quispel
Vanha - Black Lion
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