Review: Dissolving of Prodigy “Lamentations of Innocents” [Sheer Records]

Review: Dissolving of Prodigy “Lamentations of Innocents” [Sheer Records]

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Score 79%
Summary
Fairies at the spring
79 %
User Rating : 3.9 (1 votes)
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Originating from Czechia, Dissolving of Prodigy were one of the first doom/death metal albums from the country. Yeah, I know, this doesn’t sound very exciting, but here’s an interesting fact: unlike many other bands they mostly managed to stick to their doom/death metal roots, but here’s the bad news: Lamentations of Innocents is their only good album. So what’s the good news? Well, at times this album sounds pretty damn spectacular – so let’s get right into it.

Hefty, yet melancholic, Lamentations of Innocents takes the listener on a sorrowful journey where joy hasn’t been felt in decades. Dirge-like chants express the rejection of hope, whereas gruff barks point out at the unfair suffering that causes mankind’s futility and eerie violins find their way between these physically heavy doom-laden riffs. Now this description could suit many doom/death metal albums, but for a simple point of reference imagine if My Dying Bride circa Turn Loose the Swans had fired Aaron Stainthorpe and hired Lee Dorrian instead. The result is an album that’s clearly identical, regardless of Dissolving of Prodigy’s Czech origins – but we’re certainly not dealing with an album without identity here. Whereas Turn Loose the Swans would deal with certain tragic topics, I find this album to be much more emotionally evocative and it’s also far better structured. Take the opener “Affliction” for instance; where a weary moan quickly turns into a tormented roar – supported by morose violin passages and at last some dirge-like chants that haunt the chorus… still wondering why this album is called Lamentations of Innocents after all?

However, despite its emotional depth, Lamentations of Innocents doesn’t express itself like an endless weeper with a runny nose. These compositions clearly go somewhere and while the album doesn’t overpower one with riffs, each compositions is made out of a few riffs that are surprisingly captivating. “Damocles Gladius” is easily the most haunting number on the track, where the vocals recall a ghost that has yet to flee to the underworld, yet the thrusting riffs that emerge halfway through provide a sense of heaviness that the track doesn’t bring forth at first. Moving on, Lamentations of Innocents seems like an obscure classic, as it follows a safe formula that should promise consistency, yet its issues start to become apparent during the album’s B side. Taking an unexpected turn for the worse, “Prayer for Love” is a seven minute folk-y instrumental number and while it could have worked as a decent instrumental tune in between, there’s no reason for it to be as long as it is. “Luck of Tears” exchanges doom ’n gloom for a far more upbeat folk-y atmosphere and strangely enough I’m getting reminiscent of the band’s country mates Silent Stream of Godless Elegy here. Nearly ten minutes long, it’s a bit of a pain to sit through and while some of the minor-leads do show promise, it’s more of a confused track than a proper offering of melancholia. Ending Lamentations of Innocents on a decent note, “Echoes of Sadness” continues down this path and while the flutes becoming rather annoying and distracting here, it at least matches some earlier tunes in terms of heaviness thanks to the weighty riff work.

Ideally Dissolving of Prodigy would have bettered themselves as time went on, but regardless that unfortunately wasn’t the case. Follow-up Time Ruins Also Beauty would still retain the band’s identity rather well, but it lacked the magic of Lamentations of Innocents and as time went on, the band were never able to make an actual decent comeback, although they had hardly abandoned from their doom/death metal roots to begin with. Regardless, Lamentations of Innocents should satisfy those who seek more melancholic doom/death metal and while it’s certainly not without flaws, its emotional impact should certainly be a rewarding experience, so go hear it and embrace your sorrow!

Release date: 1995

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