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Painted Black : Cold Comfort

Ok, thatís a rule I try to keep in mind as a reminder that each album I review has to trace its way deep in me before I even dare express some feeling about it: one, even two listening sessions are far to be enough. Five or six are more appropriate, above all when the said-band doesnít exactly roam the music grounds youíre more accustomed to...

Painted Black plays Death Doom of the most mellow and romantic essence. In order to let all the gentle vibrations it carries sink into the most feminine part of my psyche, beneath the beard and the dirty nails, I have to forget what I like in Death Doom; the bleakness, the darkness, the occult, the roughness, the despondency.... good bye Evoken, Morgion, The Drowning Ė hello Novembers Doom, Forest Of Shadows, Daylight Dies.

Painted Black arenít exactly rookies on the scene, but I admit I hadnít heard of them before the release of this third album of theirs (and first full-length coming after two demos). Ok, the band is mellow indeed, and conveys deeply romantic soundscapes, melodic, soul-gripping odes to grief and soft despair. The band hails from Portugal which more and more appears to be some sort of a cradle for those type of Doom bands: Process of Guilt ( at least on íRenounceí), Before The Rain, Mourning Lenore and others...

The compositions are cleverly articulated, between soft passages where the singer swiftly expresses a moody sadness to big crunchy Doom thunders where growls, galloping guitars, hammering drumming plundge into a boiling furnace. Novembers Doom is a major reference to my ears. Really, picture the way the Paul Kuhrís band display all the different patterns that you usually find in melancholic Death Doom and you will have a reasonably good idea of how Painted Black sound.

Like in Novembers Doom, you have that mix of gothic Darkness, that heart-breaking beauty, those subtle, light nuances. But it also goes with the flaws: the songs often drag too long and soon lost me. Itís all very polished, without those little accidents, those little depressions and ruggedness that could keep me interested all along the album. The musicianship is top-notched though, and I canít really fault them on their abilities to write very good melodic lines or draw impressive and evocative atmospheres. But it lacks an essential power, some intensity; it all flows too softly, revealing a kind of restraint, almost a shyness that is, in it-self, pleasant, but not always deeply interesting.

Reviewer's rating: 5/10


Tracklist :
1. Via Dolorosa
2. ShadowBound
3. The End Of Tides
4. Absent Heart
5. Cold Comfort (Release)
6. Winter (Storm)
7. The Rain In June (Out Of Season)
8. Inevitability

Duration : Approx. 55 minutes

Visit the Painted Black bandpage.

Reviewed on 11-06-2010 by Bertrand marchal
Forever Autumn
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