I like introspective music. When atmospheres in music become bleak, heartfelt and sorrowful, I tend to retrace my thoughts on life, how fragile and unstable it can be. Germany´s DESPAIRATION are no newcomers in the music business, but they´ve somehow managed to stay an indie band for most of their career so far. Their fourth longplayer “A Requiem In Winter´s Hue”, isn´t easy listening music, but it has that crucial artistic spark and authentic atmospheres that reflect on everyday life and the conflicts a person is bound to face.
There´s something really delightful and tranquil about their way of composing and arranging songs; while Progressive Rock might be the foundation of the band´s sound, many other genres are vowen into rich tapestries with everything from rocking gothicism to more playful Jazz modes, and the transitions between are pretty much flawless, these guys are true veteran songwriters.
The music stays in midtempo, allowing the subtle arrangements to settle into their own rights, just take “The One Who Ceased To Breathe” or “Letters From A Coffin”, pure, chilled and sometimes bound for minor metallic inputs, really a joy to listen to when sipping some herbal tea hehe. It´s not easy to make any direct comparisons to other bands, simply because this is a genuine atmospheric rock sound. Rough parallels towards fellow prog rockers EVERON can be heard here and there (musically and vocally). Other times the band sounds like a more sensitive version of Alternative Rock giants LIVE. ANATHEMA, PARADISE LOST and KATATONIA all count as influences as far as the gothic aspects of the band go, I find this fusion of different sounds to be unique and extremely exciting.
These associations only give a small view into eleven songs that each have their own identity and atmosphere. Add a moderate sound production and you have a very personal record with eased prog playing, experimental edges and profound atmospheres. Highly recommended!
(Online June 13, 2008)