Passion of Depression is an ambitious and involved album, with a great deal of technicality and broad progressive structuring. It could easily have become a mess, but the skill and talent that the band have steers it all well, preventing it from getting lost in its own excesses. Complex it might be, but Lamentations know how to keep everything on track. For a rough idea of what Lamentations sound like, mix together Monotheist, Opeth, First Fragment, The Faceless, Between the Buried and Me, Immolation, and Death.
This is death metal with extra melodic and technical colour, all tied together by a progressive framework with cinematic scope. A range of additional instruments are used to enhance the core of the band’s style, and this is enriched further by a large amount of guest musicians, (from bands such as Cynic, Black Crown Initiate, Exist, and Extol). This all provides a solid base for Lamentations to paint their textured tapestry, secure in the knowledge that they are using only the very best materials.
The songs are layered and expressive, and use emotion and mood well to lead the listener through the labyrinthine twists and turns. The well-crafted music is engaging and holds the attention well, with lots of content for the avid progressive metal fan to absorb.
Despite how nuanced, atmospheric, or beautiful the music can frequently be, this is still ultimately a death metal album. The grandiose, colourful, and melodic aspects of Lamentations’ sound are all built around a core of death metal heaviness that’s quite satisfying. Frequently the exploratory music comes back to this central streak of aggression, and regardless of how ethereal the affecting clean singing can be, when the death growls are tearing out of the music there is an undeniable grittiness that’s powerful.
Lamentations have produced an impressive album that takes time to get to know and fully appreciate, but yields many rewards for those that do. Passion of Depression is an absolute feast for fans of precise technicality, bright melodic colour, and progressive atmosphere.
Very highly recommended.