Shroud Of Despondency – Decimation and Introspection EP (2017)

Shroud Of Despondency

Decimation and Introspection EP

Self-released/Independent

This EP is what remains of a split that didn’t quite occur, yet offers an extra four songs in addition to the band’s latest disc Cull, which I may review at some point. Though I couldn’t get into this one after first glancing over it via my cell speakers (which really are shit and now this I know) I definitely find my interests a bit more peaked by the piece.

A strong black metal performance begins in “With Malice” which carries a fair amount of frost in addition to its highly calculated song structures. What keeps my interest, is the fact that song keeps moving and doesn’t stick to just one approach. The six-minute playing time allows more than enough room for the song to breathe properly and explore even more territory throughout. “Swarms” overflows with melody as potent rasps work to decorate the chilling riffs in just the way that klvtists would fellate themselves over. A solo then comes in unexpectedly to later become a major backbone in the song. After a few thundery bits, we have what I might describe as light, acoustic tremolos to build atmosphere right before the next big blast. Ultimately, it is another strong piece and creates nearly a formidable EP at this point. Gothic organs come in with “Removal Of The Head” which changes the whole style to something more like classic Graveworm, a sound that excites me greatly. With trudging doom riffs melding together with piano and a mixture of death growls and blackened rasps, I’m almost reminded of the band’s funereal album, a disc that I’m glad did not truly mean the end for this project. I must state that “Removal Of The Head” is simply more than just creepy Gothic organs though, as several song structures are utilized and the piece almost reminds me of early Cradle Of Filth. This is a sound I’ve quite missed, bands just aren’t doing it anymore in favor of all the 1000 BPM technical shit. Unfortunately, the whole Goth trend has pretty much phased out and the underground isn’t allowing this kind of music to thrive proper. Choirs can be heard later in the piece, which almost seem to distort the sound a little for me. They could have been shoved to the back a little bit, but this is a minor nitpick. Those same choirs begin the final track on the disc, “Before The Lamentations” which sees a major uptick in instrumentalism as it makes it’s presence known as a rather massive instrumental. This heavily folk-inspired piece is certainly not something I would have expected for the denouement, but it seems to fit perfectly well and quite a bit of thought was put into it. Aside from folky, acoustic tremolo riffs, I can also discern some rather fierce piano playing in addition to tribal drums.

With Shroud Of Despondency, I truly never know what to expect and they’ve given us a treasure of sounds within this powerful extended play. Whatever band missed out on this opportunity, they should feel pretty upset right now. It would have been great promotion to be put alongside this. Hell, we would have done it. In any case, if you are indeed interested in this EP (and I’m sure you are) then please check it out at the link below.

(4 Tracks, 28:00)

8.5/10

Purchase HERE (Bandcamp)

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