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Shattered Hope : Absence

Doom/Death with funeral Doom references is everything you have to expect from Shattered Hope.

Lighthouse ahead! The captain of the wretched ship wailed in awe happy to have found shelter for him and the crew; or so it seemed. A lighthouse in the middle of nowhere, no matter how bright it may shine, it shatters your hope. Soon the tormented ship would find its place among others at the bottom of the ocean, in Absence.

Shattered Hope, my co-countrymen, not only managed to release an album worth its burden in welcome amounts of crushing waves of the sea, they had the chance to depict everything their music has to present in an envelope which transformed their compositions into a highly expressive title/artwork and vice versa. Doom/Death with funeral Doom references is everything you have to expect and it’s enough to please your weary senses so as to keep on listening. As a matter of fact, Shattered Hope never let me down and it was during a Saturnus show in Greece I managed to get a hold of their first demo. Ever since they worked hard and achieved to play alongside renowned acts of the scene both indoors and outdoors and the progress of ’Absence’ is their reward, everything they tried to achieve throughout the years, everything they are at the present; the future still lies ahead, no matter how “un-Doom” this may sound.

Down–paced heavily distorted guitars and weeping melodies pave the way with their overburdened vibe, yet the band shows they aren’t afraid to fasten the march and burst into soaring fierce moments, until darkness falls again. Beauteous keyboard/piano melodies surround you as they enrich the overall ambiance and you can’t act otherwise but follow their lament. The rhythm section is imposing enough and compliments the compositions, lending depth, groove (no matter how slow it may be) and holding together the structure of the compositions. Nick’s gifted throat grunts from the core of the earth escalating the atmosphere with every single word he utters in his very own devastating manner. Needless to say some cleaner vocals and recites make the sound of Shattered Hope more affected and fragile, whereas some tormented screams deepen the band’s personal martyrdom. Lest not forget the harassing violin melodies that tempt your senses.

Of course the band’s not alone in their virgin ride (in terms of full-length releases) in the world of Doom metal. Having Marquis (on ‘Vital Lie’) of Funeralium/Ataraxie fame and Thomas (on ‘A Traitor’s Kiss’), his majesty from Saturnus, partaking in your work, then it must mean something and having said this, by no means I’m lowering the beauty of the album itself, it’s through a highly positive spectrum. As a matter of fact, to say things with their name, those two accomplished artists in the world of Doom metal wouldn’t lend their voices in an album not worth their/your attention.

Before leading my point of view to a natural end, I have to make a special reference to Vital Lie. I first listened to this song when their first demo came out and I stood in awe finding out how much it changed throughout the years and became the colossal tombstone it is nowadays. With respect to its sound roots, the band progressed its arch melancholy both in terms of length and emotion and with Marquis’ offering it reached completion.

Of course they have their references, varying from Saturnus to My Dying Bride and from Mourning Beloveth and Anathema to funeral Doom whispers. Originality is a difficult thing to find in Doom metal in general: after all, almost everything has been said and done. The key to enjoy (yes, Doomsters can actually enjoy their music) this kind of expression is beyond such small matters when aspects like personal experience, heart and soul come to the surface. Feel it or leave it.

If by any chance you haven’t come across Shattered Hope’s Absence yet, you could proceed without fear, but with passion. The band intends to reward you and make you wish for more in the near future. The best is yet to come, as for now, The Utter Void extends its hands just a breath away from you... would you dare to reach it?

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Amidst Nocturnal Silence
2. Vital Lie
3. Enlighten The Darkness
4. Yearn
5. A Traitor's Kiss
6. Lament, in F# Minor
7. The Utter Void

Duration : Approx. 58 minutes

Visit the Shattered Hope bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-09-15 by Kostas Vertzizis
Forever Autumn
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