Thursday, 11 June 2015

Review: Deadspace – 'The Promise Of Oblivion'

'The Promise Of Oblivion'

Deadspace was founded by Australian Chris Gebauer (Earth Rot/Sensory Amusia) as a solo vehicle, but after one split release has quickly blossomed into a full band. The result of this is the bleak but rather beguiling début album 'The Promise Of Oblivion' which blends, depressive black metal with death rock, gothic, ambient and noise elements to create a tapestry of disturbing yet strangely accessible songs.

The 35-minutes of the album is divided up between eight tracks that keep their feet firmly in the depressive black metal genre, but are still full of experimental genre blending to separate them from the crowd. Tracks such as 'The Promise Of Oblivion', 'I'll Buy The Rope', 'The Clouds Won't Shade The Pain', and 'Pain's Grey' do this with ease as the ambient elements and more gothic melodies are preserved and despite the dissonance at work, they still manage to keep a level of accessibility that is quite refreshing. But it is the subtle instrumental 'Oblivion' and the near eight-minute long closing track 'In The Coldness Of Darkest Night' that the band really come into their own.

This is a raw and gritty album. But it isn't un-listenable The emphasis on emotion, ambience and gothic melodies come across in the production nicely to counterpoint the bleak black metal streak that is ever present. Add the emotional strain on the vocals and it is a hard to take but nonetheless effective formula.

This is a promising début from the Australians. It balances light and dark, heavy and melodic with ease. It threatens to spiral into utter insanity before steadying itself once again. But most of all it is a strangely addictive listen that compels you to stick with it until the end. It may be dark and dissonant, but if you're willing to go there, it may surprise you.  

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