I usually prefer not writing a review at the first person, preferring a more global, objective approach. But this is the first time I review a Doom Metal album, so I thought my opinions would rather be more comprehensive if I was doing it like this.
I didnít know what to expect at all, since Doom Metal is not a style I have a huge background to work with. Also, having to review a first Doom Metal CD with SHAPE OF DESPAIR, ďIllusionís PlayĒ album, isnít quite the easiest task either. After a 5 minutes slow and melancholic instrumental introduction, the first vocals to come are clean ones, highly melodic, drifting on a slow paced distorted guitar riff. The first thing I noticed, sadly, is that SHAPE OF DESPAIR music is really repetitive. And for a 61 minutes long album, is there really a need for repetitiveness? Just listen to the 15 minutes and more second track, with its never-ending, monotonous, keyboard/piano melodic line, and tell me honestly, that you donít find it boring. It doesnít make an album sound bad though, as SHAPE OF DESPAIR is highly melodic. The melancholy and sadness that transpire throughout the album is not for the depressed people.
Vocally, can it go more deep than that? Although I didnít like my first experience with Doom because Iím more into speed, I can honestly say that this type of vocals is really great. Tortuous, full of pain and despair (no pun intended), I guess that if this is standard in Doom Death Metal, that just for this reason, I would really like to venture further into this style.
I guess there are as many Metal styles as fans out there, and that the slow, doomy music of SHAPE OF DESPAIR will appeal to some, but they didnít attract my attention.
Iím not judging Doom Metal in its entirety, because Iím fairly new to the style, but if someone like me was about to discover Doom Metal with SHAPE OF DESPAIR, I can bet he wouldnít be that much interested in going further. (Online January 9, 2005)