(EchO) - Devoid Of Illusions

There is Death Doom, and then there is (EchO). Debuting on the well known Doom label Badmoodman Music this Italian band couldn't have found a better place to start out. Their music fits in perfectly with the Solitude family, and even surpaasses some of their cohorts who have put out two or more albums on the lable. (EchO) is one of those unique Doom bands that take the more classical and symphonic focus to the genre, focusing heavily on the clean piano sound that bands like Draconian have taken to heart while also throwing in some Gothic elements by switching between the deep growls and melodic clean vocals that will appeal to fans of groups like Swallow The Sun. Just to hear the second track "Summoning The Crimson Soul" is to hear a whole new world of Doom for those who felt bands like Comatose Vigil or even My Dying Bride were the quintessential heralds of Doom. Other tracks like "Omnivoid" are grittier and feature more chugging guitar and bass with only the growling- which unfortunately seems a bit underproduced and isn't quite up there with the rest of the music. There is still a hefty amount of keyboard involved for beautiful elements but it just doesn't quite match up to when the piano is playing.

"Internal Morphosis" focuses on the chilling sci-fi elements by using the warbling keyboard sounds amongst the slow, yet rhythmic pulsing of the guitars, but what really works is when only the bass performs and the clean vocals almost have to whisper to get the quiet edge across. "Once Was A Man" changes tings up with a slow ballad completely comprised of progressive guitar and the clean vocals, but (EchO) pulls things off quite well on this front as well as their heavier ones. When it does come to the heavier tracks, the layers of distortion that normally would do a Death Doom band well ruins the sound because the cleaner vocals and piano just doesn't quite make a good companion for it- which is why it was devoid of such things on the 'atmospheric' opening. "Sounds From Outer Space" has a thicker atmosphere but the piano still works with its resounding echos that just seem to ring on and on with a haunting hollow sound that cuts out right before the guitars alone. True, the softer sections are better than the heavier ones, but the balanced contrast between the two is another great quality of Death Doom that (EchO) exploit well. Overall, 'Devoid Of Illusions' is definitely worth looking into for any Doom or Death Metal fan who likes things on the classical side without too much of a slow pace, but not quite as heavy and drowning either.

  1. Intro
  2. Summoning The Crimson Soul
  3. Unforgiven March
  4. The Coldest Land
  5. Internal Morphosis
  6. Omnivoid
  7. Disclaiming My Faults
  8. Once Was A Man
  9. Sounds From Out Of Space