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Shroud of Despondency: Family Tomb

To prepare for this review, I read through the previous reviews that have appeared on this website. Each of the reviews was positive, though some were a bit more favorable than others. In every case, there was an underlying sense that Shroud of Despondency always did outstanding work. I'd be curious to know what prior reviewers would think of this new album, especially since it is the band's last. To mark the occasion, the band decided to strip things down. The music was all recorded with a DIY attitude—without expensive studio equipment, without any mastering, and without updated computer programs. By design, the album was supposed to sound like raw Black Metal—and it does. Fans of the band may need to go through the album a couple of times to adjust to the sound. It is good enough, but can be quite muddy at times. The music is mostly dark and cynical with very few moments of hope. The main exception, the closing minutes of "In View of Birth," try to lift things up a little bit, but they ultimately fall back into that emotion—despondency—from which the band takes its name. Rory Heikkila plays all the instruments and he does so quite well; Ron Blemberg's vocals, raspy and intense, give things an even darker edge. As an exercise in raw Black Metal, the album works pretty well, but the songs are often too long and the sound is sometimes tedious. By the end, I was exhausted. May the band rest in peace.

Track Listing:
1. Birth Rites of the Sick
2. Underbelly
3. In View of Birth
4. Where Desolation is Destiny
5. The Rewards of Worship
6. The Dry Idols
7. Blessed

Added: November 9th 2015
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1468
Language: english

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