London's progressive & melodic death/black metal act De Profundis have been quietly building up a small but impressive discography, and their latest The Emptiness Within surely is their best to date. Taking cue from bands such as Opeth, Amon Amarth, Enslaved, and Emperor, these guys do a pretty good job of of combining punishing death & black metal arrangements with often times technical, progressive elements, plenty of melody, atmosphere, and an effective mix of vocal styles.
Little acoustic sections as well as jazzy bits are woven into many of the songs here for a nice effect, and offer some variety to offset the bludgeoning, showing that De Profundis know how to throw some 'art' at the listener. When they are at their death metal best ("Delirium" and "This Wretched Plague") the band sounds almost identical to Amon Amarth, perhaps too much so, but thankfully they don't play this card too often here, and branch out into other areas more often than not. Most of the vocals of Craig Land are either a deep brutal growl or raging black metal styled rasp, but there are also some great clean vocal passages as well. Jazz lovers will appreciate the occasional Jaco Pastorius styled bass passages thrown in from time to time throughout the album; in fact, the bass playing of Arran McSporran is one of the main highlights here, as it's not often we get to hear the bass lines so prominent on music of this nature. Just check out his furious fretless bass acrobatically walking alongside Nick Tingle's tricky drumming on "Twisted Landscapes", while the guitars of Roman Zed & Shoi Sen lay down plenty of jagged riffs and blazing solos (of which there are many here on The Emptiness Within.)
For many, the more epic styled, progressive tracks are going to be the highlights, so be sure to check out the adventurous "Release", "Dead Inside", and especially "Unbroken (A Morbid Embrace)", where the band approach Blackwater Park era Opeth as far as offering up majestic, progressive death metal. Overall, there's plenty to digest here, The Emptiness Within anything but 'empty', but instead complete with musical riches far and above what many extreme acts are conjuring up these days. Well done!
01. From The Depths...
03. Silent Gods
04. This Wretched Plague
05. Twisted Landscapes
07. Dead Inside
08. Parallel Existence
09. Unbroken (A Morbid Embrace)