Featuring a wealth of instruments and influences, this is an epic album that lasts 73 minutes and takes the listener on a tour of all of the dark places.
The bedrock of the band’s sound is grim, murky Black Metal; this immediately differentiates them from some other Blackened Doom bands as usually the style is predominantly Doom with added Blackness; here it’s a good mix of two, probably leaning towards the Black Metal side of the equation a little more overall. There’s plenty of serrated Blackened parts to keep the blood pumping.
Elements of Crust, Post-Metal and pure Doom work their magic in among the blood-fed trees of the Black Metal forest in which the music grows. Litany is powerful, wonderful, ambitious and terrifying in equal measure. Taking aspects of bands like Hope Drone, Neurosis, Wolves in the Throne Room, Myrkur, Usnea, Nux Vomica, Bergthron, Lycus and a whole host of others, this is an impressive body of music that brings something different to the table with each track, all within the established framework of the band.
Sharp Blackened screams are juxtaposed with softer cleans, both male and female. Dark growls populate the undergrowth and harsh, rolling shouting stabs in like spikes. Guest vocals appear throughout the album, making the entire performance varied and interesting for the listener.
The overall feeling is one of a refined, sombre misery. Viola and other instruments give the music an additional air of sophistication and Dead to a Dying World are nothing if not accomplished at the spells they weave; the band are adept at creating thick atmospheres and dark moods.
The recording has a sickly, unnatural warmth to it, like something alive that shouldn’t be. It’s soft when it needs to be and roiling, churning and destructive at other times.
This is a long, involving and emotive listen that builds, crests and waves through the six tracks like a dark tsunami, crushing and destroying yet followed by calm and retrospection, reflecting on all that has been lost.
A very special album.