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Motus Tenebrae: Deathrising

The cover art for this album evokes Medieval images of partially decaying human beings caught somewhere between life and death, their bodies representing the shared fate of all flesh. In this case, the rotting body is also holding a scythe, one that suggests just how big the harvest of the dead really can be; the blood on its tip points to how often the blade cuts people down. The heavy blood on the woman's left arm, pouring from the wrist, evokes suicide, one of the most despairing cuts of all. Given the album's title—Deathrising—it seems appropriate to present listeners with an image like this. Death is everywhere.

Not surprisingly, the music on this album is best described as Gothic Doom Metal. On the band's Facebook page, the new album is described as "a masterclass in modern Gothic Doom Metal." I don't always agree with such tags, but I have to say that Motus Tenebrae has certainly mastered this style in ways that other bands could certainly learn from. I was especially impressed with the band's patience with the material here. Everything sounds very deliberate and well-executed from beginning to end. This is not to say the album is perfect, but even during the weaker sections I found myself admiring the band's overall sound and strengths. From start to finish, the album shows off Motus Tenebrae's talents for tight compositions, patient executions, and dark moods. Unlike other Gothic Doom bands, Motus Tenebrae avoids the tendency to be overly dramatic, especially in the vocals. Too many bands like this use the vocals as a means of showing off certain kinds of chops. Here, the vocals are more tempered and fall in with the rest of the music pretty well. I'm less inclined toward the overly emotive sentiments of songs like "Cherish My Pain" but the energy and drive of that track—just listen to its strong opening—make the self-indulgent sorrow take a backseat. The band sounds best when the music pulses with a faster tempo and a greater energy. I especially enjoyed "Light That We Are" and "Deathrising," though the opening to "Faded" was also pretty strong. Tracks like "Our Weakness" and "Black Sun" were tight but sometimes felt too slow, dragging a little here and there.

Overall, this is a strong release. If the album has faults, they are those that occasionally dog this style of metal music: repetition and the occasional imbalance of the various elements of doom, melody, and aggression. Gothic and Doom generally play well together, but some fans will want more of one and less of the other.

Track Listing:
1. Our Weakness
2. Black Sun
3. For a Change
4. Light That We Are
5. Faded
6. Deathrising
7. Haunt Me
8. Grace
9. Cold World
10. Cherish My pain
11. Desolation

Added: January 8th 2016
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1930
Language: english

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