It might be tempting to think that death-doom dies when Paradise Lost went gothic and Anathema went alternative, while My Dying Bride cut back on the growls and filtered out the death metal influences otherwise present on their first album. But it seems that death-doom is being rediscovered these days, as new and established doom metal bands and projects explore the possibilities of the genre.
Take for instance the Finnish one-man doom project Red Moon Architect's debut album Concealed Silence which is a particularly succesful revival of death-doom, drawing on influences from 90s death-doom, but combining these with a range of other impressions from other doom metal subgenres. Thus, the core sound consists of harsh growled vocals and heavy, but not oppressively slow, drum beats combined with guitar figures that interchange between droning notes and crushingly heavy riffs.
But fleshed out upon this death-doom skeleton are a number of effects and melodic tendencies, primarily created through the use of keyboards and the occasional guitar melody, although some of the riffs are in themselves melodic. A fine example of this is the sublimely melancholic and depressive 'Black Butterflies'. At times the keyboard effects are of a more gothic character, consisting in simple piano melodies – much like Paradise Lost used to do and, yes, like U2 did way before them (I'm thinking 'New Year's Eve'. More often than occasionally do the synth effects add a more symphonic and epic, adding a lush feel to some of the passages on the album. While the vocals are primarily growled a couple of clean passages pop up every now and again, and 'Realm' even features some clean and soft, almost, vulnerable female vocals.
The production is very professional as is the musicianship and the band's sole member Saku Moilanen has really managed to impregnate his music with emotion and melancholy, and, as a whole, this album is a stunning artistic success. It is melodic, yet powerful because of the death-doom core. The only beef I have with it is that it is too short. I could do with three full songs more and, conversely.
Fans of melodic doom metal and of death-doom should definitely give this wonderfully depressive album a listen or four.
3. Death Rank
4. Black Butterflies