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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2018



01. Amorphis -
Queen Of Time
02. Dimmu Borgir -
Eonian
03. Khôrada - Salt
04. Immortal -
Northern Chaos Gods
05. MGT -
Gemini Nyte
06. Summoning -
With Doom We Come
07. Crone -
Godspeed
08. Primordial -
Exile Amongst The Ruins
09. Atrium Carceri & Herbst9 -
Ur Djupan Dal
10. Mournful Congregation -
The Incubus Of Karma

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Random album

Dead Summer Society - ...So Many Years Of Longing... (2015) - Review

Band: Dead Summer Society
Album title: ...So Many Years Of Longing...
Release date: 22 March 2015
Label: Rain Without End Records

Tracklist:
01. So Many Years
02. Coldness Gods
03. It Devours my Faith
04. Some Peace to Feel
05. Longing
06. Shatters
07. State of Waiting
08. Every Death is Certain
09. A Winter Day
10. Failure
11. Desperate Sun
12. Stalemate

When it comes to gothic/doom music I'm often so hairsplitting that the music must be really worth something, mostly because this is the type of music that I admire the most and follow the genre since the early 90s. So, the Italian one-man band Dead Summer Society, masterminded by Mist who's known from before as a guitarist of How Like A Winter, gives a lot of good promises with the sophomore album that bears a typical melancholic title like we are often used from groups in this genre. ...So Many Years Of Longing... is a successor to three years ago released debut titled Visions From A Thousand Lives and with the new opus Dead Summer Society comes forward with a bit less experimental compositions, with less electronics used, but with much more depth, more layers and melancholy in the sound. In this more than one hour long sombre journey we can find a lot of resemblances with bands such as My Dying Bride, early Katatonia, early Anathema, Paradise Lost, Novembre, early Amorphis and similar. Everything is pretty much 90s smelling, even the production is just like being done back then.

Dead Summer Society takes the listener into the obscure world of dreams, desperation and longing, but yet offers enough dramatic soundscapes thanks to the use of different elements taken from various genres and elaborate melodic guitar lines filled with melancholy. The right atmosphere is often reached with gothy spheric synth layers, acoustic guitars, slow to mid doomy pace and many vocal variations, from clean male vocals to growls, operatic female vocals, spoken words, blackened screams. The vocals are contributed by various guests, for example female vocalists are Ann-Mari Thim (ex-Arcana) and Graziana Oddo (Rètina), then the male vocalist are Trismegisto (Cult Of Vampyrism, Teeth And Thorns), James Hawkins (As Autumn Calls), Antonio Cantarin (Echo) and Tim Rowland (Woccon). A very promising list of guest, isn't it? But in my opinion Mist could take much more advantage of those, then again to be truthful, even done this way is not bad and the necessary dynamic range, plus kind of intensity is reached anyway. Still, the biggest accent is on haunting guitar melodies and the whole thing gets its charm right from there.

Beside a short intro named "So Many Years", atmospheric coldness of "Every Death Is Certain" and the instrumental piano driven interlude "Longing" all of the songs are quite long and follow almost the same pattern. For example "Coldness Gods" with a nice ambiental part in it, the monotone instrumental "Desperate Sun", then the closing death metal infested "Stalemate" and many other tracks just go with the typical doom/death formula based on gothic metal drive with a couple of black metal exploitations. On the other side tracks like the magnificient "It Devours My Faith" with a vibe similar to the one of almost forgotten Dismal Euphony, the bitter solemn "Shatters" with a strong reverberate bass line and some similarities to Saturnus or even Novembers Doom, then the beautiful melancholic too short female fronted ballad "Failure", or the crushing slow doom mixed with emotional stanzas and nice acoustic guitar passages in "A Winter Day" are all true gems and show a great compositional talent of the author. Even though there are many mood and tempo changes, unfortunately those are sometimes inserted in a way that can be described as nothing else but intrusive and it doesn't necessary give bonus points but it rather distracts the pathos of music and makes the whole thing just the opposite from intended, it can became too murky and consequently monotone.

...So Many Years Of Longing... has some things that could be done better, but the final picture is still good and those who enjoy in melancholic, yet very atmospheric gothic doom metal will surely find in those tracks a nice journey into the deepest corners of their inner feelings. Dead Summer Society did an album full of bleak yet bitter sweet emotions that leave a mixed aftertaste and I can't get rid of a feeling that this album could sound even much better with just a bit more emphasis on production and final mix, also song structures could be just a bit more flowing and better written vocal lines for otherwise very good vocalists wouldn't hurt either.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 7/10

Recommended by Terra Relicta

Band: Ugasanie
Album title: Eye Of Tunguska
Release date: 22 September 2015
Label: Cryo Chamber

Eye Of Tunguska is certainly Ugasanie’s most refined album to date. The drones, synths and field recordings of nature as well as other unearthly sounds, all flow together perfectly. Eye Of Tunguska is quite complex without ever feeling cluttered or noisy. We are told that Ugasanie was inspired to write this album by “A strange incident (which) took place in the 1990s in late autumn in the taiga. Not far from the epicenter of the Tunguska meteorite impact site. A group of students went hiking to see this legendary site. They lost their way after they decided to spend the night in one of the winter huts built by hunters of the land. Their mutilated bodies were later found near an old abandoned geological base with radiation burns.” Ugasanie paints a vivid picture here of the darkness and pure terror felt by these hikers as they experienced a potential alien or government abduction and their ensuing deaths. Ugasanie always amazes with his use of atmosphere coupled with a compelling plot. Eye Of Tunguska brings more of what we love of Ugasanie in a quite different manner than previous albums. While the sounds may be more subtle, the overarching story appears to better plotted than ever. Eye Of Tunguska is highly recommended for those who love dark ambient with sci-fi and/or polar isolation elements, not to mention a bit of horror-scape.

Read a full review HERE