|Review: Doom: VS - Earthless|
Label: Solitude Productions
Year released: 2014
Review online: September 4, 2014
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 3/5 (60%) (2 Votes)
This is the third full-length from yet another one-man Doom band, this one from Sweden, which has a long legacy of Doom going back to the very roots of the genre. The oddly-named Doom: VS is a project of Johan Ericson, guitarist for fellow swedes Draconian, only in this act he does everything himself. This is an impressively well-made and yet kind of unexciting album.
This is very much in the more depressive/funeral direction of Doom music, along with such other works as classic My Dying Bride, Anathema, and even Skepticism. I also hear more recent bands like Fallen and Swallow the Sun in the mix here. The playing is pro, the production is first-rate, and some of the riffs are really class. The only problem I have with this is that it all sounds very familiar, and if you have heard any of this kind of music, there is nothing here you have not heard before, and heard a lot. Even the finer moments on here have a very strong feeling of heard-this-before, and there's not getting around that.
The compositions are also not as strong as the parts that make them up, and so they drag more than a little. In Doom the song structures have to build and build the tension inherent in the minor key riffs and melodies, so that interest is maintained and the final payoff is strong. Too much of this is made up of little ups and downs in the musical narrative, letting us off the hook too often to keep us interested through the whole tune, and thus the songs do not hold together as such. Any individual part of this sounds good, but it wears a bit as you listen. So this is solid, and Doom fans will be pleased, but it's not breaking molds so much as re-living them.
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