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Grieving Age - In Aloof Lantern, Thy Bequeathed a Wailer Quietus…
Released: 2009, Self Released
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Who knew that doom metal existed in Saudi Arabia? Metal scenes are popping up all over the globe, but for a band like Grieving Age to surface from such an uber-conservative borough is refreshing. Their self released debut, IN ALOOF LANTERN, THY BEQUEATHED A WAILER QUIETUS…, consists of a whopping two songs clocking in at 36 minutes. Reminiscent of early ‘90’s death/doom a la My Dying Bride’s and Anathema’s first Peaceville releases, the band adopts that era as a mantra. Death growl vocals and loooooong song arrangements centered around minimalist riffs with some ethereal accents are the order of the day here, and boy it is a big order.
If this album was released in 1991, it likely would have fit in nicely with the pioneering bands of that day. But it’s not 1991 anymore, and the doom metal scene has progressed dramatically since then. The two songs here don’t differentiate much in format or approach - menacingly slow, death crunch riffs that occasionally give way to bursts of speed and atmospherics, accompanied by indiscernible gut wrenching vocals. Even by traditionalist standards, things are pretty one-dimensional here and as such are cumbersome to mire through. The band really never lets loose anywhere throughout the 36 minutes of the release, which is disappointing, because there’s definitely a vibe underneath it all that suggests that the sextet is capable of much more than what’s offered here. Having a keyboard player and a violinist in the band and not using those assets. Why have a full time keyboard player and violinist and only give them a few minutes of shine time throughout the whole effort?
Consider this an album for doom metal fanatics and purists only. Speaking as one of the fanatics, IN ALOOF LANTERN is still a difficult album that’s not for the faint of heart, though fans of drone or funeral doom may wonder what all the fuss is about. The album packaging looks sharp and a release like this really shows one’s commitment to a genre style. Grieving Age gets an “E” for effort, but unfortunately that effort isn’t enough to recommend this release.
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Ahmed Shawli - Vocals
Ghassan Fudail - Guitar
Deya'a Azoni - Guitar, Violin
Hosam Tammar - Bass
Abdullah Sabab - Keyboards
Emad Mujalled – Drums
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