Doomortalis - Splendor... Then Gloominess - (7.5/10)
Published on December 5, 2017
Curiously titled Splendor… Then Gloominess is Mexico’s Doomortalis’ debut album, coming 7 years after the band formed. Unsurprisingly, given the band and album names, they favour Doom/Death Metal. Also unsurprisingly, this appears to be the first metal album ever to have the word “gloominess” in the name. What the monikers alone don’t reveal, though, is that Doomortalis take it right back to the sound of the genre’s formative years and they do it very well.
“Paradise Where Pain Reigns” makes Doomortalis’ case in compelling fashion right from the first few notes: a big, imposing riff, joined by wailing lead guitar. Count me in. The sound is very similar to early My Dying Bride, plenty of gloom, but with faster sections and dark, twisting guitars that recall Paradise Lost and Candlemass. That’s all in the first track, so there’s plenty going on in Doomortalis’ music, with the predominant influence throughout being early My Dying Bride. The production isn’t the clearest, which only serves to add authenticity to that more primal sound and there’s a feeling here of discovering a great new band, albeit in 1991.
There are breaks to the My Dying Bride-ness, though and there are tracks with faster rhythm work that recalls Death Metal giants such as Death and Monstrosity. “Shadows And Silence Ceremony” almost abandons the doom and comes across like a raw Death Metal song from back in the day, with catchy riffing and a nice Eastern-sounding guitar solo. “Maze Of Immortality” has crushing riffs and a great solo, which brings to mind 1990s Satanic Death Metal bands such as Acheron, while “Dead Magnetism” is a catchy upbeat number, with some of that classic Death Metal riffing.
A strong candidate for standout track has to be “Portal To Gloominess”; a Doom/Death monster with huge, cavernous roars, mournful guitars and topped off with a marvellous melodic, highly infectious solo.
There is room for improvement, though, and the similarity between some of the tracks means that the album may be at its best when digested in chunks, a few tracks at a time. Most of the songs are of high standard in their own right, although the final pairing do slip into the “filler” range.
Any weaker moments are the exception rather than the norm, as Splendor… Then Gloominess is a strong debut from a band who are a welcome addition to the Doom/Death ranks and will hopefully go from strength to strength. Nice work.