Thursday, August 29, 2013

REVIEW: DEUIL - ACCEPTANCE/REBUILD


I’m not sure what the opening chanting means, but it’s the perfect chilling start to this massively heavy, compelling, occasionally terrifying, but ultimately uplifting release from the Liège, Belgium doom crew Deuil. I’m quite proud to say that my seven years of French classes paid off and I actually knew this band’s name translated to “mourning” before reading it in their bio, and their sound is absolutely fit for a post-funeral meltdown and subsequent recovery.

Acceptance/Rebuild is a sprawling two-track assault on the senses that builds from the aforementioned moaning/chanting to droning sludge that hypnotizes its prey into submission before tearing out its jugular. “Acceptance” drifts into a nebula of fuzzy feedback and star dust before plummeting back to Earth with an unexpectedly uplifting blast of noisy black metal. It’s a song that toys with dynamics and is in constant motion, not settling for the glacial crawl of run-of-the-mill doom. The seventeen minutes feel like an emotional expedition, with tension and release expertly utilized to invoke conflict, obstacles, triumph, failure, and despite it all, hope.

“Rebuild” commences again with mysterious chanting and harsher feedback and easing into chiming, haunting melodies against a droning wall of sound like the hum of an industrial metropolis. The drum blasts in this song feel a little more forced as the rest of the music doesn’t swell and build as much as it minorly changes direction, like a new bird taking lead as a flock heads south. The last 2 minutes pound the ground with a huge doom riff that accounts for the most traditionally heavy moments of the album. Still, there’s a sense of at least bittersweet hope in this album that isn’t found on most releases exploring the dark space between doom and atmospheric black metal, let alone one named after the grieving process.

While the hoarse vocals don’t add much to the music besides an intonation of anger, the drumming is excellently executed and the band creates a world that is vast and layered with mystery and complex emotional resonance. This is a fantastic debut album that joins titans like Lesbian, Tree of Sores, and Usnea; all bands who’ve elevated the songcraft of long-form doom-oriented music into something even more challenging, exciting, and diverse. Despite their name, I promise you will not mourn the 27 minutes spent listening to this album.

Listen to Acceptance/Rebuild over on Bandcamp now, available as a “name your price” download from Lost Pilgrim Records: http://lostpilgrimsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/acceptance-rebuild

And follow them on Facebook for updates on their vinyl and casette releases:  https://www.facebook.com/wearedeuil

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