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Depressed Mode: Ghosts of Devotion

One quick look at the bleak cover art of Ghosts of Devotion, the debut from Finland's Depressed Mode, should give you an idea about the doom laden death metal that you are sure to find once you hit the start button on your CD player. Crushing progressive doom/death is a good way to put it, with punishing guitar dirges, growling male vocals, plenty of majestic keyboard textures, and just enough gorgeous female vocals to give things a slight gothic edge. Tunes like "Words of Silence", "So Long", and "Suffer in Darkness", all reek with dark and dreary doom, but there's a certain amount of class and melody brought in by the extended use of keyboards and female vocals that adds plenty of charm and beauty to these 9 songs. Ossy Salonen has a brutal death growl that fits the slowness of the music quite well (think early My Dying Bride, Swallow the Sun, and November's Doom), and he also performs all the keyboards and programming. The exquisite female vocals are sung by Natalie Koskinen (Shape of Despair) and her majestic touch sprinkles feelings of hope and peacefulness on "Fallen Angel" and all the songs previously mentioned. It's when she doesn't make much of an appearance, like on the funereal death march "Cold", or the torturous melancholy of the title track and "The Sun Is Dead", that things start to sound a bit tedious. The band's cover of the Burzum classic "Dunkelheit" is extremely well done, with loads of sweeping melodies permeating the song thanks to some wonderful keyboard work from Salonen. Overall Ghosts of Devotion is strong stuff, but if I were them I'd make even more use of female vocals next time around, as it really helps distinguish them from the countless other doom bands currently toiling on the scene.

Track Listing
1. Alone
2. So Long
3. Words Of Silence
4. Suffer In Darkness
5. Ghosts Of Devotion
6. The Sun Is Dead
7. Fallen Angel
8. Dunkelheit (Burzum cover)
9. Cold

Added: July 8th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Firebox Records
Hits: 3949
Language: english

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