Thursday, September 13, 2012
Altar of Oblivion- Grand Gesture of Defiance Review
Alright, some of you may remember the EP, Salvation, that Altar of Oblivion put out earlier this year. Well, they just released their second full-length, Grand Gesture of Defiance, and let it be known that these Danish doom metallers have yet to disappoint me so far. It's a grand gesture of daaaaaaamn good doom metal.
The album spans out to be roughly thirty five minutes long, just a few minutes longer than the previous EP (I guess the difference between an EP and a full-length for them is just one song or five minutes). One would think a doom metal album would be longer than that, but it's thirty five minutes I'm happy to spend listening. Even if it's a few minutes longer than the EP, it does seem like they have trimmed out the fat in their music. Slow, plodding riffs are intermingled with intricate melodies and operatic vocals. Six or seven minute songs are the norm, but the songs flow so smoothly you'll hardly notice as the air is filled with Sabbath-esque riffs and Candlemass-like overtones. Each song seems so wonderfully crafted, going from slow dirges to a little bit of a mid tempo riff to change the pace. And, there are solos! Something that was missing in the last EP. They may not be super-shredderific solos a la Yngwie, but I think the melodic lines fit with the music that's being created. There is even an acoustic track. Yes, I know, an acoustic track on a metal album -gasp-. It actually has a cool Western feel to it, a really dark and ominous Western feel to it. Two tracks to check out: "Where Darkness is Light" and "In the Shadow of the Gallows" (I think all six tracks are worth checking out though).
My only complaint is that the production is a bit dry compared to their previous works. It doesn't sound as atmospheric as Salvation. But I don't think that diminishes the album much. It does make it sound like an early Solitude Aeturnus album. The songs still carry the Gothic stride found in every Euro doom band of their ilk. It's a solid record, I think it's too early to judge on whether it's a sort of magnum opus or anything, but in all certainty it is a solid and consistent record. I think we can all look forward to their next product. Pick up a nice Lovecraft novel and put on this album, they'd make a great pair, like your girlfriend's ta tas.
Great doom metal!