Croatian doom troupe, Elusive God, present their take on a very traditional sound with their EP, The Darkest Flame. A retro tinged romp through the dark reaches of the doom genre, this is most certainly one for those who are seeking out a taste of the sound that dominated heavy music in the days of yesteryear.
Our first taste of Elusive God comes in the form of the heavy as hell sludged out introduction of Silence is Our Doom. Musically, all of these songs crush, but the opening track is a real standout. The sludgy sound of the track maintains clarity throughout its run, never muddying itself into the territory of noise pollution. As the EP continues, the music settles into a nice classical doom sound. It’s cold and mournful, and beautifully gut wrenching sound that instills emotion deeply enough to stick around once the music has ceased.
The percussion on the EP is mixed very well, with a minimalist style that allows exciting and intricate patterns to convey the same feel of the static drums found in the more extreme forms of the doom genre.
Many of the sounds seem a bit muted, but they are still very present in the mix, creating an eerie effect, like an ever present ghost hovering about the EP’s run time.
Vocals on the EP, while not exactly this reviewers cup of tea, maintain the retro feel of the album. They are very theatrical in nature, existing somewhere in the space between Bruce Dickinson and King Diamond. They are very clean, with dramatic flourishes abundant. Fans of Ghost and early Sabbath will most certainly find themselves right at home.
Aside from the aforementioned Silence is Our Doom, To Whom Do You Pray is another standout track on the EP. An epic track that undergoes multiple stylistic and thematic changes, there is a heavy cinematic quality to the song that keeps the listener gripped. There is also a very quiet section that really lets the bass guitar shine at long last, which is always going to be a huge plus for this reviewer.
All in all, I give this one a thumbs up. While it might seem a bit tame for modern listeners, it achieves the sound that it strives for and that intention is clearly audible throughout the release. Give it a listen with open ears, try to appreciate the journey that Elusive God is taking you on. It’ll be worth it.
Release date: June 26th, 2020
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