Horrorgraphy – Season of Grief (Review)

HorrorgraphyHorrorgraphy are a symphonic doom metal band from Greece and this is their debut album.

Here’s a rather unusual release, (for 2018 at least), both in form and consistency; the band is made up of three vocalists and one multi-instrumentalist, while the music is layered old-school doom metal, with a firm symphonic side and rich melodies.

So yes, three singers; two male and one female. The female takes care of soprano vocals, and her voice is both accomplished and powerful. One of the males provides the harsh growls, while the other performs Gothic-tinged clean singing.

The music is made up of eight original compositions, crowned by a Therion cover, (The Rise of Sodom and Gomorrah); the latter should also give some indication of the band’s musical output in their own songs, albeit one that’s filtered through the lens of other old-school bands.

Musically then, we’re in the territory of a symphonic version of old-school doom metal. On one hand it might help to think of a Gothic, ostentatious incarnation of classic bands such as Paradise Lost, Anathema, and My Dying Bride to get a good idea of the types of realms that Horrorgraphy operate in. However, even with this in mind, it might be even more appropriate to visit Norway to be put in mind of groups such as Tristania, Trail of Tears, Peccatum, The Sins of Thy Beloved, and even a touch of Arcturus. Either way, you get the general idea.

The keyboards are symphonic, and atmospheric, as well as having quite a theatrical feel in places. This theatrical component leaks out into the rest of the music too, although there’s more here than merely this. The guitars, for example, while having a certain amount of theatricality in their delivery, are mainly despondent and forlorn, conveying plenty of melody and emotive feeling in the leads.

Although heavily favouring the old-school, there’s some decent diversity in the songwriting across the album. We get occasional elements of folk, avant-garde, and black metal here and there, for example, and these simply add to the character and appeal of the music.

Season of Grief is an ambitious collection of songs that are involving and engaging in various ways. As with many things, it’s an acquired taste for sure. For me, this reminds me heavily of a lot of things I was listening to in the late 90s and early 00s, and would fit nicely into that era alongside some of the bands mentioned above.

Will this be to your own tastes? Horrorgraphy have enough talent for this kind of thing to be worth the effort to find out. Give them a listen.

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