Ahh, the return of Doubtsower. 2021’s Asphyxiation of a Seasick Soul was an unexpected highlight of that year, and although I was surprised to find a new album available so soon, I’m nonetheless pleased by this unlooked for treat. Once again delivering five tracks of emotive doom metal across 49 minutes, the artist behind Doubtsower continues to produce the very definition of underground gems.
The Endless Shadow of Despicable Power treads similar ground to Asphyxiation of a Seasick Soul, only does so with more confidence and with a clearer view of the path ahead of it. The music is a textured form of doom metal that contains elements of post-rock and post-metal, alongside touches of other styles and genres too, (for example, there’s notably more ambient layering this time around, an increased electronic/industrial influence, and a more experimental feel in places where different sounds and creative ideas are explored).
Each of the five tracks provide a landscape of doom mastery for the listener to explore. Well-crafted, and with a firm understanding of doom and post-metal mechanics and structure, the music is a salve to those who cannot get enough of doom metal’s compelling ways. It is easy to get lost in these songs, to tread their Yob, Usnea, and Isis-esque corridors, while still marvelling at the sights and sounds offered. The base ingredients may be familiar, but what the artist does with them is masterful.
Atmospheric depth is constant, and there is a resplendent feel to some of the melodies and keyboards. It carries with it an uplifting feel that’s quintessentially doom, despite that sounding like an impossibility. The songs are imbued with emotive power and depth, and this shines through the darkness strongly.
Doubtsower’s second album is another potent and absorbing work of doom-drenched feeling. If you were lucky enough to find your way to the debut album, then you mustn’t miss out on this. And, if you didn’t, then the same advice applies.
Which album do I prefer? It is hard to give a proper answer to that due to how much better I know the first one, but my initial impressions are of a work at least the equal of its predecessor. Only time will tell of course, but I look forward to finding out.
Essential listening for doom fans everywhere.