Debut full length from 1993 of this cult death/doom band from Holland! A must have for fans of ASPHYX, NECROSCHIZMA, SEMPITERNALDEATHREIGN, MOURNING, DELIRIUM, MORGOTH.
The album reviewed here is a volcanic lava of heavy ship-sinking riffs which for most of the time are pure unadulterated doom with a sorrowful, mournful aura as evident from the exemplary opener “Shapes of Sorrow” which moves forward in a somewhat monotonous, but steady hypnotic fashion superseded by the more dynamic and more melodic “Stranded” which contains a great main catchy mid-paced riff-pattern. At this stage the musical approach is vintage epic doom the only relation to the death metal community being the gruff growling vocals. “The Nameless” acquires more ambitious progressive proportions with a more frequent change of tempos and moods, nothing even remotely resembling headbanging rhythms, but interesting enough with several intense mid-paced passages “tearing the silence” save for the brilliant atmospheric exit. Nothing of the kind on the elegiac funereal “Fade Away”, or on the officiant high-octane hymn “Prophetic Countdown” the latter a template on which acts like My Dying Bride and Theatre of Tragedy have modelled entire careers. “Kissing in XTC” is the epitome of seismic patient, not very diverse but effective, doom which lasts unperturbed for nearly 9-min, with a great more dynamic accumulation mid-way, arguably the most interesting moment on the album and not because it differs from the slightly one-dimensional delivery of the prevalent layout; with the excellent melodic leads ensuring the more lyrical respite. “The Finishing Touch” comes in the form of another slab of primal classic doom with beautiful melodic motifs circling around giving the academic solemn delivery a nice ethereal flavour.