Ukrainian band Narrow House play Progressive Doom and this is their second album.
This is varied and atmospheric Doom, with elements of their Funeral Doom past widened and expanded to included a much larger musical framework.
Playing heavy, dark and slow is still a feature for the band, however, but now they also use additional tools in their toolbox, including non-standard Doom implements such as choirs, saxophone, cello and contrabass, as well as orchestration, piano, keys, etc. that are more typical of the style.
A lot of the songs are more upbeat and have more of a Progressive feel to them. Some tracks such as The Midwife to Sorrows, for example, still have Doom aspects but can also be thought of as Progressive Metal songs with slow parts.
The songs are surprisingly short but still manage to pack a lot in. Narrow House are high on content and depth where they are lacking in length of song. The level of orchestration, effects and additional instrumentation on the tracks mean that each song is densely packed with layer upon layer of musical interest.
The clean vocals are dirge-like and full of depth and authority, whilst the occasional growls are low key but powerful.
This album is a surprise as I wasn’t sure what to expect from the band. From the Progressive Metal-style album cover to the name that gives nothing away, this is an atypical release in many respects. This is a very good thing, as the band have produced an extremely good album that manages to ably differentiate itself from the ravening hordes whilst keeping quality levels high and having a lot of personality and colour.
This will probably be a bit too left of centre for some Doom fans, which is a shame as this is a remarkable release that deserves a wider audience. This is a hugely impressive album that won’t settle for being average and definitely stands out in a sea of mediocrity.
Listen with an open mind and you’ll find that Narrow House have produced quite the corker.
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