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Shores Of Null – Beyond The Shores (On Death And Dying) (2020) - Review

Band: Shores Of Null
Album title: Beyond The Shores (On Death And Dying)
Release date: 27 November 2020
Label:  Spikerot Records
Genre: Doom Metal, Gothic Metal

Tracklist:
01. Beyond The Shores (On Death And Dying)

"There's a time to live but isn't it strange, that as soon as you're born you're dying", Bruce Dickinson sang in the Iron Maiden's classic "The Clairvoyant" back in 1988. Now the Italian combo from Rome, Shores Of Null, took the process of dying as the main inspiration and made an exceptional 38 minutes long song, or better said a full-length album. Beyond The Shores (On Death And Dying) is an amazing epic work of dark/doom/gothic metal art, divided into five melted together parts, with lyrics based on the five stages of grief formulated by the Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.

Three years after the dark and complex sophomore album, Black Drapes For Tomorrow, the Roman band returns in a glorious style, with their most melancholic, atmospheric and the most adventurous work to date. Even if the main characteristics from their previous two records are all here, and even if the outside influences are heard pretty much all over, the band achieved kind of their own sound. This is doom metal, the most melancholic version of it, but there is a lot of gothic metal, death/doom metal, it gets blackened here and there, yet they are not afraid to use classical, ambient and some symphonic elements. The result is an overwhelming dramatic doom manifesto.

If there are in the doom genre many songs that can be long like this, but most are often hard to get through because not much is happening there, the thing with Shores Of Null's new offering is nothing like this. The song is dynamic from start to finish, it has pathos, it's fluid, haunting and captivating, it has a lush atmosphere, and believe me that there's not a single moment of monotony, as Shores Of Null nicely drives the listener through various emotional states.

Vocally "Beyond The Shores (On Death And Dying)" is a very strong piece, and not only that Davide Straccione has such a good, deep and yet strong voice, here they have some very special guests like doom titans, Thomas A.G. Jensen from Saturnus and Mikko Kotamäki of Swallow The Sun, who both deliver some stunning harsh vocals. Towards the end of this epic song, Davide gets company also of Elisabetta Marchetti of dark metallers Inno, and they perform together with some beautiful choruses.

From hauntingly melancholic sweet melodies, uplifting grooves, to sometimes punishing and other times almost flamboyant rhythms, weepy guitar riffs, astonishing percussion, delicate piano touches and gently sorrowful violin, the band smoothly leads the devoted listener through this suspenseful dramatic sonic journey. It's delicate and it can be aggressive, but never annoying or too much mellow. This is music that offers a lot, and you must take some time to fully absorb all the beauty that it holds. The production is good enough, it has depth and power, so nothing is really missing in this work that I consider to be one of the best dark doom metal releases made in 2020. Alongside the song comes also the stunning video/film, and you should watch it for an everlasting and deeper impression. Fans of Swallow The Sun, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, The Foreshadowing, Amorphis, Saturnus, Anathema, Draconian,... this is music for your ears.

The review was written by Tomaz
Rating: 9/10

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