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That Which Passes : That Which Passes

That Which Passes is more than just a two man doom project. It is the sad story of Justin Schaefers and that is important to note from the very beginning. This CDr was never made for the listeners enjoyment, it is, as Justin himself states, "a way for me to chronicle my illness." The abhorrence of the story is only paralleled in (widely known) doom history by that of Worship's Mad Max.

To Justin depression didn't settle in the usual fashion. As he describes it, it "stole my appetite and made me lose some 40 pounds, that gave me a violent Tourette's-like twitch, that stole my time. While under it's clutches, I also became an active hallucinater and an alcoholic, two ailments I've yet to overcome."

"Every song is about my depression, about the relationship I endeavoured with an imaginary five year old girl, who at times was my friend, at others an omen, at times was my lover, at others my mother or my daughter. ... [That Which Passes] is an honest disclosure of the disgusting and scary psychology that is mine."

In the end, Justin decided to put his personal nightmare into music, thus creating That Which Passes. Doom metal was chosen to be the medium. (There are interesting implications of why he chose "our" genre, but I'll leave that to my review of the follow-up, 'Please Forgive Me'.) But, the funeral-ish doom found in 'That Which Passes' is not as hideous and grim as you might expect. Rather, the sadness found in here is the blue mood of jazz or depressed pop-rockers (Canaan, This Empty Flow). Indeed, the mood of this CDr may be of greater interest to those into really calm doom metal, say The 3rd and the Mortal, Labyrinthus Noctis, or maybe even Until Death Overtakes Me.

But most of all, this is not an album for those who have no empathy for these kinds of mental problems. The sheer ability to appreciate the problem makes or breaks the ability to appreciate this CDr. I for one have experienced the place which Chris Fulenwider has had in this tale as the supporting friend (and bandmate). I recognize so many subtle places in the music which I know I would not have had I not lived the experiences I have. Those allow me to enjoy the music properly, but without them I don't think I would have labeled it as more than mediocre.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Christmas Lights in Mourning
2. The Angel Who Announces the End of Time
3. The Courtyard Below
4. This Fickle Affair
5. [bonus track]

Duration : Approx. 31 minutes.

Visit the That Which Passes bandpage.

Reviewed on 11-05-2010 by Arnstein Petersen
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