SummaryThrough oceanic depths of sorrow
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Is there really a thing such as ordinary doom/death metal? Regardless of the style’s stagnation (which arguably became notable in the early 00’s), I believe that most bands manage to stand out in one way or another. As is the case with Dream Unending; a band created by two members mostly known for their involvements in Innumerable Forms and Tomb Mold.
Conjuring a mass of ethereal melancholy, home’s suddenly far away by the moment you’ll stumble upon the soothing acoustic bits of the intro and by the time that ‘Adorned in Lies’ announces itself, Tide Turns Eternal rarely lets one down with its overwhelming atmosphere that I love to get enchanted by. It’s a smooth take on doom/death metal and the band members rely more on majestic textures and dream-like ambiance than anything else, yet with atmosphere so thick, it’s hard not to get carried away by the record’s charm. Monstrous growls resemble unknown creatures that bellow from oceanic depths, while clean guitars evoke the tranquil beauty far from land. Distorted riffs maintain an ideal balance between physical and emotional force, a hint of nostalgia amidst their properly-timed measurements; only to contrast with a few nods to Cocteau Twins that’s caused by the most tranquil guitar motives of the record.
While it never picks up to a rapid pace, neither does it allow any experimental features to disrupt the state of the album and therefore, Tide Turns Eternal is one of those records that requires a certain mindset before diving into. That’s not to say that the record is all about atmosphere and has no riffs to rely on whatsoever, but it spends as much of its time winding down as it does building up tension and fans of the ‘atmospheric’ side of this doom/death metal branch will most likely get more out of than adrenaline junkies who get a high from a non-stop riff approach. ‘In Cipher I Weep’ makes it all too clear; which allows a few slow-moving riffs to contrast with the beautiful landscapes that the clean guitars are responsible for – only to take an unexpected turn with that tsunami wave of a riff near the end with intensified results.
Fillers are not in sight, but a few specific moments make me scratch my head out of confusion. The eleven-minute long ‘Dream Unending’ almost resembles a subtle take on Disembowelment at first, before it allows some heavyweight guitar stomps àla Hooded Menace to intervene. So far, so good… but I’m not a fan of the long-winded clean break that provides a spoken narrative in between; which is rather distracting than beneficial. The title track embraces identical errors; spending its first two minutes building up atmosphere and allows another interlude to flip the pace and mood in between with little desirable effects. It’s unfortunate, because the first few minutes recall The Ruins of Beverast with riffs that hit like a ton of bricks, whereas the final section is mainly built out of bulldozer-sized riffs that stand tall in somber waters; think of Majestic Downfall‘s better moments and you should have an idea of what to expect.
In an era where doom/death metal is relatively hot again, it’s hard to keep track of all the bands that are worth your time, but Dream Unending are certainly one of these bands that you should keep an eye on. To think that the band has just started out promises a lot and I can’t wait to hear more from them in the future.
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