Have you ever wanted to listen to a band like Yob or Pallbearer, but wished that they had a darker, blacker side? Enter Bereft.
So, imagine doom metal if it was eaten and digested by something a bit more twisted and blackened like Lycus. Essentially Bereft take the Yob/Pallbearer idea, merge it with some Lycus, and then add some filthy heavy atmospheres and dark personality all of their own. It’s a compelling mix and Lands is a first-rate release.
The music draws you in and crushes you in more than one way. Not content with reducing you to a flattened mush of organs with huge walls of distortion, the band also reduce you to an empty husk by emotionally destroying you to with a wide selection of downbeat emotive musical weapons and misery-tinged mood-pieces.
The black metal influence is never too far from the surface, no matter what the band are actually doing. Occasionally it breaks through completely, replete with blast beats and scything blackened riffs, but for most of the time it lurks underneath the doomier parts like a malevolent entity waiting patiently for its time to burst forth and claim another victim.
With an array of screams, growls, shouts and forlorn clean singing, the vocals are layered and engrossing in all of the right ways. Whether playing heavy-as-Hell or indulging in some more nuanced introspective delivery, the vocals are always used to their fullest advantage.
This is the kind of album that I love to listen to and absorb in one go. Its vast, blackened soundscapes offer a filthy, dangerous journey for the listener, but one which has so many rewards it would be foolish to not undertake it.
Lands is an album well-worth visiting.