Published on Sunday, 21 June 2015 23:16
Album title: The Promise Of Oblivion
Release date: 1 May 2015
01. The Promise Of Oblivion
02. With Tears Of Callous Lust
03. I'll Buy The Rope
04. The Clouds Won't Shade The Pain
07. Pain's Grey
08. In The Coldness Of The Darkest Night
From the Western Australian capital city Perth comes a new act named Deadspace that has all the tendencies to shake out the whole depressive black metal genre. If the genre didn't offer anything strenuous in the last couple of years, this band certainly does. The band was originally conceived in 2014 by Chris Gebauer (Earth Rot, Sensory Amusia) as an outlet for his continuous feelings of depression and soon after that morphed into an unit of musicians sharing the same musical aspects who bring many fresh and interesting ideas with this debut album which serves with just a little more than 30 minutes of gloom and depression. I believe that many could find The Promise Of Oblivion in a way disturbing, but it enthuses with an intriguing mix of black metal, ambient, post-rock/metal, death rock and gothic rock that is based on organic depressive black metal atmosphere. This blend of styles might sound a bit weird for someone but believe me that Deadspace managed to make it smooth, there's a lot of depth, many mood variations, yet it has enough of that necessary hellish power that keeps it heavy and true in its very core.
Deadspace already with the opener, the album title track, show that this is not some kind of a joke made by some wannabe depressive teenagers who just picked up their guitars and learned a riff or two. These Aussies serve with a mix of in your face thrown massive sound with impressive drumming where the drummer shows some technical skills, then strong bass lines and tremolo pitched guitar riffing often interupted by some exqusite unpretentious typical vintage rock leads, gloomy synths, echoing piano touches and tortured shrieks that get many forms and gives that depressive flavour to the whole thing. Of course bands like Lifelover in the first place, then also Forgotten Tomb, Shining, even Burzum and Mayhem, come in mind here and there, but once those mesmerizing touchy keys implemented into the post-black-gaze sound of the "With Tears Of Callous Lust" make way for the melancholic ambiances and truly unbeliveable guitar work by both guitarist, everything gets another level and is set for an unique journey through the most inner suicidal and depressive state of mind delivered with sadness through Chris's quite emotive vocal variations and for the genre typical lyrical thematics. Here and there as well some female/male spoken words deepen the atmosphere and thus increase its dramatic character. The album often gets some interesting twists, for example with the cinematic ambiental innitial part of the almost epic "The Clouds Won't Shade The Pain", then the album gets cut in half by a short dramatic intermezzo, "Oblivion", mainly based on spoken words. Here and there Deadspace make surprises with post-rock elements and if that's not enough even something that could be near to Christian Death or Kommunity FK can be found in some segments. Those captivating dirty guitar lines in "Pain's Grey" are kind of a school example how to unite the depressive finesse of Shining with death-rock picks. Another name that I think should be mentioned are A Forest Of Stars whose weird black theatrical elements can be perfectly heard in bewitching powerful drive of "I'll Buy The Rope" for example. Everything is for the most of the time quite melodic, sometimes even catchy and gets its peak in the wavering conclusion with the longest track up here, "In The Coldness Of The Darkest Night", where every element mentioned before gets the deserved part and shines in the ultimacy.
The production is maybe a bit too rough, but on the other hand it gives a certain charm that nicely unites many of opposite elements into one elegant unity of sounds. Still, every single instrument is perfectly heard and in the right balance with the rest. Of course, The Promise Of Oblivion, never gets out of the melancholic feel, but in another way I must say that even if the band tried to serve with something crucially suicidal and depressive they didn't succeed in its entirety because inside this gloom there are many emotional sparks created with uplifting melodies and dreamy sequences that give kind of a light to the overall darkness, ray of hope, but yet this is what makes this album special and one of the most interesting releases of the genre in the recent time. Now, even though The Promise Of Oblivion is one of those releases that could push the depressive black metal music into new territories, still sometimes I have a feeling that songs could evolve even to a higher grade, in my opinion a couple of times some of them are cut off when you least expect it and some unnecessary shrieks ruin the captivating dark ambiance, but to be truthful I must say that for the major part I'm blown away by this album and I expect even more from the band on future outputs.
Review written by: T.V.