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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: Arcturus
Album title: Arcturian
Release date: 8th May 2015
Label: Prophecy Productions

With the underlying black metal roots, Arcturian delivers such a grand surprise by simply overblowing all the inserted stylistic elements to a point, when you may feel all will explode. But it does not. Not only rich orchestrations, use of various string instruments and piano melodies found their way to fit perfectly into the picture, Arcturus went modern old school, and even added a fair amount of dubstep. The peculiar inclusion of electronica is not in any way abusive of the sound, but it rather gives it a hypnotizing and mysterious note and deepens the profound atmosphere of it. With razor-sharp guitar arrangements, blasting drumming and ICS Vortex's dramatic vocal work, Arcturian is just what we love about this band: bizarre, deranged and schizophrenic, even diabolical and wildly obscure at moments. With so many various elements being intensified to its maximum point, Arcturian is all in all a straight-forward, extremely cohesive and swirling work of art. Its core may be askew, but its atmosphere stretches from ghastly to romantic, from stygian to lucent and is from the first to the last note deeply vigorous.


Read a full review HERE