Soliloquium - A Night of Burdens - (N/A)
Published on May 12, 2014
Genre:Doom / Death
A while back I went on a late evening trip through the mountains with a friend of mine and when he popped Katatonia’s Brave Murder Day in the car stereo I realized yet again that said album really is the definitive soundtrack to sunsets everywhere. The band’s mournful dirges, coupled with the rapidly fading light, made the jaunt through the narrow mountain roads that much more epic. I got my nerd on. Big time.
So yeah – Brave Murder Day is pretty much the Alpha and Omega of melodically inclined doom/death in the view of yours truly. The passion and pathos that Renkse and co. had tapped into on that particular album is something that still continues to inspire. They may not be as well-known as Daylight Dies or share the same unfettered Katatonia fetish as The Morningside, but fellow Swedes Soliloquium are pretty damn committed to spreading the Katatonia gospel (though their sound leans a bit more towards Dance of December Souls on the whole). I was impressed by last year’s The Concept of Escape, which was a continuation of the hefty and dreary doom/death sound heard on their When Silence Grows Venomous demo, so I eagerly dug into A Night of Burdens when the band made it available on their Bandcamp page.
A Night of Burdens is different from the band’s previous releases insofar as it is essentially a covers EP (with one original song tagged onto the beginning). The song in question, “Perpetual State of Panic,” is a brief acoustic ditty that, while suitably atmospheric, feels more like an outro of sorts. Perhaps if they had included another original song it might’ve caused this particular track to sound less out of place. It’s not a bad number by any means, and I definitely appreciate the gentler sound they explored here, but overall it feels a bit out of sequence. The meat of the EP comes in the form of the Paradise Lost and *gasp* The Cranberries covers. Their cover of PL’s “Forever Failure” is pretty faithful to the original (even if some of the gothic undertones had been scaled back in favour of a heavier death metal influence). Draconian Times is my favourite PL album from the ‘90s, so I have no complaints about the band’s decision to cover a song from it.
Their cover of The Cranberries hit “Zombie” is an interesting one, to say the least. In terms of instrumentation their take on the song is spot on, though obviously a heavily doomy kind of way, but I feel that their decision to use growls during the choruses cost their version that angst that the original has. Of course I had no real frame of reference for what a death/doom vocal interpretation of Dolores O’Riordan’s vocals “should” sound like, but I think the sparse cleans they utilized on the PL cover would’ve worked better on this particular track. All in all, however, this is a minor complaint and I shouldn’t judge them too harshly since this EP is more of an experiment rather than a continuation of their early works. A Night of Burdens is a fun little artistic detour and perhaps indicative of even more interesting things to come in the future.
PS: all the band’s releases are available in the ‘pay what you can’ format on their Bandcamp page. Go check ‘em out!