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Doom:VS : Dead Words Speak (Reissue)

Doom:VS' commanding sophomore full-length gets a much deserved re-release: enjoy the emotional rollercoaster of its superb execution.

Doom:VS is not a new name in the Doom Metal industry. Despite having only released three full-length albums, this band is well-known on the Funeral Doom 'circuit', if you will. Itís a solo project of Johan from Draconian that has plenty of fans. What Iíll be reviewing today is not actually a new release, per se, but the re-release of the bandís 2008 album 'Dead Words Speak'.

What I like about Doom:VS is that itís one of those bands that effortlessly commands its music. The moment this album starts, you can only sit in awe of the majestic music that plays. Everything feels very measured and precise, not to mention technically superb. Iím not a huge fan of clean vocals in this type of music but Doom:VS fuses them excellently with the powerful Funeral Doom so I really canít complain!

Doom:VS doesnít solely use clean vocals on this release, though - far from it. If anything, Iíd say that the growled vocals are more prevalent, and thereís even the odd vocal sampling in the mixer too. Interestingly, it doesnít seem to matter which approach Doom:VS takes because itís executed so well that it always sounds phenomenal, really. The production on 'Dead Words Speak' and the focus that has gone into the song structures is what really makes this album shine though. Nothing feels rushed, and no corners have been cut either. Itís masterful, really.

Thereís even a moment in the middle of one of the tracks where thereís a real potential for the music to become very cringeworthy. Basically, there are short rhymes in a short space of time and normally, thatíd be something that failed miserably in my book but not here. Doom:VS know how to execute songs, and how to produce very commanding compositions.

In general, the music is slow and pondering Funeral Doom. Iíd argue the case that Doom:VS executes the same measure of control over its music as bands like fellow Scandinavian band Nortt, for example, although the musical styles are rather different. The best way I can describe listening to music like this is that you feel as if youíre part of it rather than simply listening to it, and that is not a very common gift. My sole crib would have to be that I think there should be more on this album, although thatís probably more greed than the fault of the band but you wonít hear any apologies from me for being greedy!

I donít have a lot else to say about 'Dead Words Speak', to be honest. Iíd always hesitate to use the word Ďperfectioní in this business, particularly with so many people ready to leap upon you for saying anything that they may disagree with! However, this album is as close to perfection as it gets in Doom Metal, and thatís coming from someone who prefers much harsher Funeral Doom than this emotional rollercoaster of a ride. This masterful work from Johan has left me with next to nothing to complain about. Even the digipack on the release is very slick!

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Reviewer's rating: 9.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Half Light
2. Dead Words Speak
3. The Lachrymal Sleep
4. Upon The Cataract
5. Leaden Winged Burden
6. Threnode

Duration : Approx. 51 minutes

Visit the Doom:VS bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-03-11 by Ian Morrissey
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