I've known CUMDEO from Smolensk for several years now, but still their CD "The Threads Of Imagination" only found its way into my CD player just now. Packed into a very moody nature cover, the sextet around singer Alexander Ivanov delivers us 45 minutes of Doom/Death of the rather, hm, unspectacular kind.
What I mean with that? Well, while listening to "The Threads Of Imagination" for the first time, the songs could seem unspectacular, some people might even say "boring" and I have to admit that during my first listening session I had not found anything that would blow my off my chair. But thankfully I do not give up so easily, because as the saying goes, with CUMDEO the devil is in the details.
Sure, even after several listens the CD will not become a highflyer, but, consisting of the basic ingredients of Doom/Death Metal, they bring us well written and arranged songs, which should at least satisfy the fans of this particular sub genre. The ingredients would be mostly doomy tempos (but with some faster passages to loosen up the song), an altogether dark/melancholic atmosphere, elegic guitars, mostly deathy vocals, with some added clean vocals and a bit of keyboards/piano in the background.
Before going more into the details I maybe should let you know about the time of this release, because the songs have been written in the years 1994 to 1997, recorded in 1998 and finally released on CD in 2000. If you take "In Search Of (Pt. 1)" as example, then you will find a really well structured song, which can convince in both atmosphere as well as build up, with changing tempos, which are well integrated into the overall flow of the songs, melodic guitars and also well placed clean vocals, which lack a bit of power and expression to really leave an impression.
"The Last Engagement" then shows more of the heroic, clean vocals (also quite a bit better here), alternating with the growl, while the keyboards also play a stronger role here, I must say, this sounds good. And during "I Need A Strength" we even get a bit of choir vocals, together with the clean and deathy vox.
What CUMDEO are missing is the outstanding track that will keep you in front of your stereo and which you will want to listen to again right away. If they had managed to pack one of these onto "The Threads Of Imagination", then this could have gotten a really good album, now it is "only" a solid Doom/Death album, which despite the unspectacular sound still has class and should definitely be checked out by Doom/Deathheads, as there are, as mentioned, quite some interesting, if maybe a little bit dry compositions on this CD.
Available at www.metal-cd.ru! (Online October 1, 2003)