|Less than a year after the promising debut, Doomed brings us another solid Death Doom album with recognisable trademarks.|
|The German solo project Doomed first appeared on the Doom map in the first half of 2012 with a strong debut album. Who would have expected a second album to be released in the same year? In all honesty, the short time between the two releases made me somewhat sceptical about the quality at first.
The project has now been signed by Solitude Productions (why am I not surprised?), so In My Own Abyss is properly released this time as a high quality CD with a complete booklet. Other than that, the first impression suggests that little has changed – the basic hue of the cover, the layout and choice of fonts, everything is very similar to the debut. This is not a bad thing, though, for it creates consistency and makes you recognise the project upon first glance. The same is true for the music: even at this early point of his career, Pierre Laube has established a distinguished trademark sound that will strike you right from the beginning if you are familiar with the first album. But this consistency has its downsides: on the one hand, there is little variation throughout the album apart from the last track with its Russian choir (allegedly a traditional folk song – nice idea at any rate); on the other hand, little development can be detected between the two records. Comparing them directly, I noticed that the Funeral Doom elements (such as on “She’s Calling Me”) have almost completely vanished. The music is less atmospheric on the whole and shows a stronger focus on its rhythmic edge. Credit is due for the riffs and lead guitar lines which are very memorable throughout, a fact that proves a strong talent in songwriting. In terms of arrangements and production, things are no less convincing: the sound is powerful and the atmosphere dark, complete with subtle and well-places synths and clean guitars. The melodic vocals mark a slight difference to The Ancient Path since they are used more regularly. However, I feel that they rather compromise the atmosphere than add anything significant; their quality is hardly convincing, except when used as background choirs.
There are short sections where the songs drag on a bit, but all in all, this new album is another high quality release without any particularly weak moments. Naturally, it does not have the initial effect of its predecessor which benefited greatly from the fresh and personal sound, and it seems slightly less deep and captivating. If you are new to the band, I would recommend listening to the debut first, but all those who enjoyed The Ancient Path and are eager to hear more will hardly be disappointed. As an aside, the artwork deserves special mention – with its silhouette and cartoon-style aesthetics, it is in a league of its own by genre standards and leaves the stale stereotypes behind while still retaining some essentially doomy imagery. The lyrics, by contrast, are all the more cliché-ridden, at times downright stupid and simply not well-written, my ‘favourite’ line being “wooohhhhaaa” (without the lyrics sheet, it would have been somewhat undecipherable). But then, who – apart from me – cares about lyrics these days? A good album remains a good album.
…Behold the pointlessness of hidden tracks…
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2. Alone We Stand
3. The Ancient Path
4. A Wall of Your Thrones
7. Ах ты, степь широкая
Duration : Approx. 64 minutes
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