I have to say I’m a huge fan of Doomed. Our Ruin Silhouettes, Wrath Monolith, and Anna are all stunning examples of how to write and play death/doom; in my experience it’s all too easy for death/doom bands to fall back on the staples of the style and take the easy route when it comes to their music. The artist behind Doomed, however, has a knack for producing music that takes all of the strengths of the style, while avoiding all of its lazy weaknesses, resulting in music that truly adds things that you just don’t really hear other bands do.
Of course, I’m not talking here about any wild innovations, (this is death/doom after all, a relatively stable genre), rather, it’s simply having the skill and talent to write atypical riffs, melodies, and structuring while still managing to adhere to the central rules of the genre, (lengthy, substantial, melodically-rich and deeply despondent songs that mix mountainous doom with deep growls and moments of deathly aggression).
On this latest album these songwriting talents are once again apparent, albeit channelled in slightly different ways to previously. The core of the Doomed sound is still intact, it’s just that on 6 Anti-Odes to Life the overall theme and feel of the album is slower, darker, and probably more nuanced than ever before.
These new songs contain a greater emphasis on light, dark, and the shading in between. This has always been part of Doomed, obviously, but the textured doom side of the equation is highlighted further on this release, as are the music’s progressive tendencies. These elements are also added to by several guests that appear on the album, both additional vocalists and musicians. Out of these the singer of Faal should be noted.
As well as containing Doomed’s most doom-ridden music to date, it’s also probably the most consistently diverse, with progressive and post-metal elements enhancing the core doom metal that lies at the heart of the music.
Vocally, deep deathgrowls are the main vocals used, of course, but slithering screams and, for the first time I believe, the artist’s own strong cleans also make appearances. It’s all rather wonderful.
Epic, monumental, full of dark melancholy, and rich with emotive content, 6 Anti-Odes to Life is a sterling piece of work.