It is pretty amazing to see how many interesting Doom and Doom/Death Metal releases are reaching my ears of late, the list contains stuff like SWALLOW THE SUN, ABLAZE IN HATRED, TALES OF DARK and many more and now a French band is trying to break into this illustrious circle, the name is INBORN SUFFERING and the album in question is titled "Wordless Hope". One look at the lyrics and the fact that four out of eight songs clock in at over eight minutes playing time are pretty obvious hints as to the stylistic direction of the Parisian quintet.
There usually only is a relatively narrow passageway for Doom, as the tempo mostly restricts the songs from being all too variable, yet the good bands manage to take this passageway and unfold their magic within. INBORN SUFFERING are one of the rare kind, who manage to take the technically oft-heard elements and create something compelling and gripping, using the length of the song to their advantage to build up this Doom-innate intense atmosphere, I mean, in which other genre than Doom or Prog would you find a 11+ minute opener?
"This Is Who We Are" is the title of this opening monstrosity and the title could not have been chosen more fittingly, as this track basically defines what INBORN SUFFERING stand for. We get a lot of atmosphere, mostly growled vocals, here and there also some spoken words, elegiac melodies, also purely acoustic passages and within the Doom borders also pretty variable speeds, resulting in one of the strongest Doom tracks I have heard in the past few months! But the Frenchies don't stop just there, but in the course of the next tracks also add some piano ("Inborn Suffering") or a light KATATONIA touch towards the end of "The Agony Within".
"Thorn Of Deceit" sets out as very heavy Doom with some double-bass, but then surprises with an all-out speed attack (not just by Doom standards), before returning to the more typical Doom tempos, I had not expected this! This track also features some female vocals, so in almost every sense of the word, it is the most varied composition of this album. And I should also mention closing instrumental "The Affliction Corridor", which surprises with piano, acoustic guitar and flute.
Is "Wordless Hope" groundbreaking? Not really. Are the compositions compelling and gripping? Oh yes! Is there anything a Doom fan might not like? Not to my knowledge. So do I recommend INBORN SUFFERING's debut? Definitely!
(Online February 12, 2007)