Dreariness combine depressive black metal with elements of post-black metal and shoegaze. The result is an impressive album that boasts a lot more depth and atmosphere than the majority of their depressive peers.
No small amount of this is due to the fact that this isn’t a purely depressive black metal release; as this is a style that can become a bit too one-dimensional quite quickly, even when done well, Dreariness add in post-black metal elements to enrich their songs and keep the listener’s interest.
It all works a treat, and the 58 minutes on Fragments are an absorbing and compelling listen if you like your blackened music full of emotion and dark melody.
The band’s ace in the hole though is very much their singer. Whereas most bands of this ilk field high-pitched screams only, the singer of Dreariness has a much further reach. She has a soft, gentle croon that can turn into a serrated blackened scream at the drop of a hat. Regardless of what style she is doing, her voice is very impressive and her performance of both clean singing and harsh screaming is exemplary.
Despite their name, Dreariness produce music that’s both vibrant and emotive. The post-black metal and sung elements work well to keep the depressive aspects of the music from becoming too prevalent, making for a more varied album than you usually find in this style. The music is rich, bleakly melodic and textured with negative power.
The songs are frequently quite long and take their time unfolding the various facets of misery that the band clearly enjoy exploring.
This really is quite a comprehensive album, and one that’s impressed me with its scope and quality.
Fragments is the sound of a band coming into their own. It’s quite easy for depressive black metal to get boring, but Dreariness have side-stepped this issue by including so much else in their sound. With a singer that’s their crowing glory, Fragments contains the type of richly emotive post-black metal that a lot of bands would kill for.
Essential listening for any fan of emotive metal.