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Graveyard Of Souls : Pequeños Fragmentos De Tiempo Congelado

Ruthless, but accessible and tuneful, but crushing, Graveyard Of Souls' latest is recommended Death/Doom listening.

The prolific Spanish duo Graveyard of Souls are back with their fourth album in four years, 'Pequeños fragmentos de tiempo congelado'; their second on Endless Winter. It's a relentless barrage of Doom/Death metal with a sound far more massive than your average two-piece band, thanks to multi-instrumentalist Angel Chicote's layering of multiple guitars and synths over the usual bedrock of bass and (programmed) drums. Graveyard of Souls' other member, Raul Weaver, turns in a fittingly aggressive if run-of-the-mill performance on harsh vocals, utilizing some cool panning and echo effects now and then.

'Pequeños fragmentos de tiempo congelado' opens with a gentle tick-tock that may lull you into boosting the volume on your stereo, leading to a rude awakening when the lead-off track 'Todo se desbanece lentamente' kicks in the door with nary an intro lick to warn the unsuspecting listener. It's immediately evident that Endless Winter is a fitting label home for the band's style, which holds few surprises but a lot of enjoyability. This is a very pleasing set of top-shelf Doom/Death with an unusually strong emphasis on melody.

Melodic themes weave in and around each other throughout, sometimes two at a time beneath a vocal line. The second track 'Entre pedazos de locura' really showcases Graveyard of Souls at their best. At times, the arrangements remind me of a "lite" take on modern Esoteric. Other moments start to resemble a sped-up Type O Negative; 'Cementerio de ilusiones' for example. Easy comparisons might imply that Graveyard of Souls aren't the most original of bands, but these songs are among the album's most memorable. 'Pequeños fragmentos de tiempo congelado''s best passages are those with maximum melodies; other times where the melodicism is dialed down in favor of rhythmic focus or relatively listless chord strumming, the music fades more towards ho-hum genericism. The album leans a bit toward monotony despite a playing time within tolerable range of whole-album listenability.

The album notes that the songs were recorded across a multi-year time span, including times coinciding with their previous album releases. However, there is no obvious difference in production from track to track, and no track repeats here from prior albums.

'Pequeños fragmentos de tiempo congelado' is an easily-recommended album that successfully combines Doom/Death's strong points from different points on the musical spectrum: its capacity for engaging, melancholic melody and its merciless, swirling heaviness. It's ruthless, but accessible. It's tuneful, but crushing. It's an oppressively bleak album...and a joy to listen to.

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Reviewer's rating: 7/10


Tracklist :
1. Todo Se Desvanece Lentamente
2. Entre Fragmentos De Locura
3. Beyond The Black Rainbow
4. Cementerio De Ilusiones
5. As Lightday Yields (Lake Of Tears cover)
6. Al Atardecer
7. Across The Cygnus Loop
8. Kristallnacht

Duration : Approx. 46 minutes

Visit the Graveyard Of Souls bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-05-30 by Mark Rzeszutek
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