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Elliot's Keep: Vulnerant Omnes

Elliot's Keep are a three piece doom outfit from Texas that have taken their name from a fallen bandmate, ex-vocalist Glenn Elliot. The three remaining members of the band (then called Marauder) decided to carry on as a power trio in tribute to their departed singer. Heartfelt and noble stuff, and you can't help but be endeared to the guys with a gesture like that. Sadly, the band's fifth release Vulnerant Omnes is a lurching, and all-together forgettable slab of epic-ish and progressive-ish doom metal.

I hate to be overly negative (most of the time, anyways), but one of the biggest problems with Vulnerant Omnes is the lack of almost any memorability. The band does manage to elicit some interesting dark and spacious soundscapes on occasion (see "Laughter of the Gods"), but the songs are too long and hover around the same tempo for much of the album's 45 minute (over 7 tracks) runtime. Yes, I know doom should be slow, but a few highlights or landmarks could be sprinkled in to allow a reference point for future listens. There's not a lot to point to here aside from the same droning and tired vocals, sloppily played double-kick flurries, and incredibly thumpy bass, all of which seem to drift in circles. The musicianship is certainly questionable at times, with tempos that audibly slow down and speed up at random, and the drumming is just... confused.

There's a couple of things that are admirable at times, though. The aforementioned thumpy bass actually sounds pretty great a lot of the time, and I do think there are some moments when the vocal melodies and underlying riffs compliment each other very well and do deliver touches of that dark and brooding beauty that is a staple of the genre when done well. The aforementioned "Laughter of the Gods" would be the best example of this. While it's not at all dissimilar from the rest of the album on the surface, the songwriting and clear, morbid beauty of the chorus make it the standout.

I do admire the band for persevering through the loss of a friend and member and carrying on his name in tribute over the course of 5 albums. Like I said, there are good things here as well, but they are too far and between to truly recommend this. Keep fighting the good fight, boys. Better luck next time.

1. Aevum
2. Vanguard of Despair
3. Laughter of the Gods
4. Every Hour
5. Omnis Pretium
6. Et Sanguinum
7. White Wolf

Added: July 30th 2022
Reviewer: Brandon Miles
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 348
Language: english

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