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Shape of Despair: Monotony Fields

Monotony Fields is the first release in over 10 years from Finnish funeral doom act Shape of Despair, featuring 8 songs filled with slow, mountainous riffs, chilling keyboard washes, and the dual vocal attack of Natalie Koskinen & Henri Koivula. This is not the type of doom to bang your head to, instead, Shape of Despair infiltrate your very soul, permeating every inch of your existence with their melancholy, plodding, yet at times beautiful attack.

Koivula provides the bulk of the vocals here, his haunting, ominous growls creeping around the arrangements like a deathly specter, with Koskinen's angelic crooning providing an ethereal, floating presence in the background. When the former utilizes his clean vocals, as he does on "Descending Inner Night", the results from the duo are quite simply gorgeous amid a backdrop of heavy riffs and soaring keyboards. Most of the tracks though are slow, agonizing death marches of oppressive doom, blanketed with those majestic keyboards, growls mixed with stunning clean vocals, and slow, pounding rhythms. The one issue with an album like this, as wonderful as it is at times, as that the tempos rarely change, and each song blends in with the next. With a running time of about 70 minutes, Monotony Fields will undoubtedly be 'monotonous' for some, but there's no denying that a lot of care and love went into the recording of this album. Kudos to lead guitarist & keyboard player Jarno Salomaa, whose synth arrangements throughout are nothing short of gorgeous. Funeral doom lovers will no doubt be all over this welcome return.

Track Listing
1. Reaching The Innermost
2. Monotony Fields
3. Descending Inner Night
4. The Distant Dream Of Life
5. Withdrawn
6. In Longing
7. The Blank Journey
8 . Written In My Scars

Added: July 2nd 2015
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1709
Language: english

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